the principal law-enforcement officer in a county
excl. (High Sheriff) An official of a shire or county office, responsible for carrying out court orders and other duties.
A judge in the sheriff court, the court of a county or sheriffdom.
A police officer, usually the chief of police for a county or other district.
Origin: scīrġerēfa, corresponding to shire + reeve.
the chief officer of a shire or county, to whom is intrusted the execution of the laws, the serving of judicial writs and processes, and the preservation of the peace
Origin: [OE. shereve, AS. scr-gerfa; scr a shire + gerfa a reeve. See Shire, and Reeve, and cf. Shrievalty.]
In principle, a sheriff is a legal official with responsibility for a county. In practice, the specific combination of legal, political, and ceremonial duties of a sheriff varies greatly from country to country. The word "sheriff" is a contraction of the term "shire reeve". The term, from the Old English scīrgerefa, designated a royal official responsible for keeping the peace throughout a shire or county on behalf of the king. The term was preserved in England notwithstanding the Norman Conquest. From the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms the term spread to several other regions, at an early point to Scotland, latterly to Ireland, and to the United States. Sheriffs exist in various countries: ⁕Sheriffs are administrative legal officials similar to bailiffs in the Republic of Ireland, Australia, and Canada. ⁕Sheriffs are judges in Scotland. ⁕Sheriff is a ceremonial position in England, Wales, and India. ⁕In the United States of America, the scope of a sheriff varies across states and counties. The sheriff is most often a county official, and serves as the arm of the county court; but some cities, such as those in the Commonwealth of Virginia, also have a sheriff's office that serves as the arm of the city court and jail. The sheriff always performs court duties such as administering the county or city jail, providing courtroom security and prisoner transportation, serving warrants, and serving process. In urban areas a sheriff may be restricted to those duties. Many other sheriffs and their deputies may serve as the principal police force.
Chambers 20th Century Dictionary
sher′if, n. the governor of a shire: (English law) the chief officer of the crown in every county or shire, his duties being chiefly ministerial rather than judicial: (Scots law) the chief magistrate and judge of the county: in the United States the office of sheriff is mainly ministerial, his principal duties to maintain peace and order, attend courts, guard prisoners, serve processes, and execute judgments.—ns. Sher′iffalty, Sher′iffdom, Sher′iffship, the office or jurisdiction of a sheriff; Sher′iff-clerk, in Scotland the registrar of the sheriff's court, who has charge of the records of the court; Sher′iff-dep′ute (Scot.), the sheriff proper, so called since the abolition of the heritable jurisdictions in 1748 to distinguish him from the earlier heritable Sher′iff-prin′cipal, whose title is now merged in that of the Lord-lieutenant; Sher′iff-off′icer, in Scotland, an officer connected with the sheriff's court, who is charged with arrests, the serving of processes, &c.; Sher′iff-sub′stitute, the acting sheriff in a Scotch county or city, like the sheriff-depute appointed by the crown, but unlike the sheriff-depute forced to reside within his judicial district, and forbidden to take other employment; Un′der-sher′iff, the deputy of an English sheriff who performs the execution of writs. [A.S. scir-geréfa—scir (Eng. shire), geréfa, a governor; cog. with Ger. graf, a count.]
The Nuttall Encyclopedia
in England the chief officer of the Crown in every county, appointed annually, and intrusted with the execution of the laws and the maintenance of peace and order, with power to summon the posse commitatus. The office originated in Anglo-Saxon times, when it exercised wide judicial functions which have been gradually curtailed, and such duties as remain—the execution of writs, enforcement of legal decisions, &c., are mostly delegated to an under-sheriff (usually a lawyer) and bound-bailiffs, while the sheriff himself, generally a person of wealth (the office being unsalaried and compulsory, but not necessarily for more than one year) discharges merely honorary duties. In Scotland the sheriff, or sheriff-depute as he is called, is the chief judge of the county, and has under him one or more sheriffs-substitute, upon whom devolves the larger portion of the important and multifarious duties of his office. In America the sheriff is the chief administrative officer of the county, but exercises no judicial functions at all.
A type of judge in a court of law in some countries.
Scotland currently have a number of sheriffs that administer in their courts of law.
The numerical value of sheriff in Chaldean Numerology is: 5
The numerical value of sheriff in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8
Sample Sentences & Example Usage
It is no wonder that Wall Street always appears to stay one step ahead of the sheriff.
If it isn't the sheriff, it's the finance company; I've got more attachments on me than a vacuum cleaner.
From my experience, groups like The New Black Panther Party are smart, they point their guns in the air and do n’t look Waller County Sheriff Glen Smith in the eye and say ‘ I ’m going to kill Waller County Sheriff Glen Smith, ’ but say ‘ pigs in blanket, ’ or ‘ need to fry some bacon. ’.
Nat Glover (Jacksonville Sheriff 1995-2003). I appointed him patrolman when I was mayor. In 1965, we had a segregated police department. A black officer could not arrest a white person. When the black officers were recruited, they had their own precinct over on the west side of LaVilla and were given passed down uniforms.
In Harris County there was a deputy sheriff who was shot 15 times -- 15 times, while he was filling up his gas tank. Why? Because the sheriff there said they believe that the suspect that went after him did so just because he was in uniform, in our society we need leaders, not just in elected office, we need clergy and business and other leaders in our community to say enough is enough.
Images & Illustrations of sheriff
Translations for sheriff
From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary
- sheriffi, šeriffiFinnish
- siorramScottish Gaelic
- fógeti, skerfariIcelandic
- シェリフ, 保安官Japanese
- sheriff, lensmannNorwegian
- шѐриф, šèrifSerbo-Croatian
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