tipstaff

[tip-staf, -stahf]
noun, plural tipstaves [tip-steyvz] , tipstaffs.
1.
an attendant or crier in a court of law.
2.
a staff tipped with metal, formerly carried as a badge of office, as by a constable.
3.
any official who carried such a staff.

Origin:
1535–45; shortened form of earlier tipped staff; see tip1, -ed3, staff1

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To tipstaff
Collins
World English Dictionary
tipstaff (ˈtɪpˌstɑːf)
 
n
1.  a court official having miscellaneous duties, mostly concerned with the maintenance of order in court
2.  a metal-tipped staff formerly used as a symbol of office
 
[C16 tipped staff; see tip1, staff1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Etymonline
Word Origin & History

tipstaff
1540s, "tipped staff" (truncheon with a tip or cap of metal) carried as an emblem of office, from tip (n.) + staff. As the name of an official who carries one (esp. a sheriff's officer, bailiff, constable, court crier, etc.) it is recorded from 1560s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Example sentences
He was appointed tipstaff thirty-one years ago and has held the position ever since.
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature