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

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

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World English Dictionary
tipstaff (ˈtɪpˌstɑːf)
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
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Word Origin & History

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
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