Definitions for sheriffˈʃɛr ɪf
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
the law-enforcement officer of a county or other civil subdivision of a state.
(formerly) an important civil officer in an English shire.
Origin of sheriff:
bef. 1050; OE scīrgerēfa. See shire , reeve1
the principal law-enforcement officer in a county
Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary
the chief law officer in a U.S. county
the sheriff's office
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
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.
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.
Translations for sheriff
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary
in the United States, the chief law officer of a county, concerned with maintaining peace and order.
- xerifePortuguese (BR)
- der SheriffGerman
- sheriff, alguacilSpanish
- शेरिफ, सुमान्य, अधिकारीHindi
- ولسوال، حاكمPashto
- (美國)警長Chinese (Trad.)
- کاؤنٹی کا سربراہ شاہی افسرUrdu
- quận trưởngVietnamese
- 县级行政司法长官，郡治安官，州长Chinese (Simp.)
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