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sheriff Line breaks: sher|iff
Pronunciation: /ˈʃɛrɪf/

Definition of sheriff in English:


1 (also high sheriff) (In England and Wales) the chief executive officer of the Crown in a county, having various administrative and judicial functions.
Example sentences
  • In a letter the procurator fiscal raised no objection to this, but in court the Crown argued, and the sheriff accepted, that the motion was incompetent.
  • They argued that the later Privy Council decision R v HM Advocate had held that it was ultra vires for the procurator fiscal to bring proceedings before a temporary sheriff.
  • ‘Somebody's gonna have to pay for it one way or another,’ said the sheriff of King William County at the time.
1.1An honorary officer elected annually in some English towns.
2(In Scotland) a judge.
Example sentences
  • They numbered some of the most powerful people in Scotland - judges, sheriffs and senior lawyers used to putting their case eloquently and with force.
  • To make matters more complicated, ministers want to bring Scotland's judges and sheriffs under a single management structure, with a secretariat staffed by officials from the Scottish Executive.
  • Scotland's sheriffs and judges are already ranked among the most lenient in Europe.
3US An elected officer in a county, responsible for keeping the peace.
Example sentences
  • And the spokeswoman for the Broward County sheriffs office candidly stated that we did that because of the media hype.
  • In fact, he purchased a Florida home at that point for his wife and two children, then sought and was promised a job in a county sheriff's office.
  • So there are police officers, county sheriffs out there directing the traffic.
4Australian An officer of the Supreme Court who enforces judgements and the execution of writs.
Example sentences
  • These relate to the conduct of officers of the registry of the Supreme Court and of officers of the sheriff of that court.
  • Special bailiffs are officers appointed by the sheriff at the request of a plaintiff for the purpose of executing a particular process.
  • If they speak to sheriff's officers and so on, we go into all these things and they are examined in courts of law.


Old English scīrgerēfa (see shire, reeve1).



Example sentences
  • In Scotland, where sheriffs were introduced in the 12th cent., they have been chief judges of sheriffdoms: and in those English towns taken out of county administration, sheriffs are elected urban officials responsible to the mayor.
  • He also levied two general taxes (the 13th of 1207 and the infamous 7th of 1203), introduced customs duties and reformed the system of farming out sheriffdoms to make it more profitable.
  • To finance this, he sold sheriffdoms and other offices.


Example sentences
  • The fruit of their union, William, acquired the lordship of Nithsdale and the sheriffship of Dumfries.
  • After the loss of Normandy, King John paid the ransom for Gerard and awarded him several sheriffships.
  • His jurisdiction under that sheriffship embraced not only that county, but also the counties of Ross and Caithness, and he was empowered to appoint deputies for certain divisions of his sheriffdom.

Words that rhyme with sheriff


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