Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A Scottish municipal officer corresponding to an English alderman.
  • n. Obsolete A bailiff.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A bailiff

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An officer in Scotland, whose office formerly corresponded to that of sheriff, but now corresponds to that of an English alderman.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An obsolete spelling of bailey.
  • n. . A bailiff.
  • n. In Scotland: The chief magistrate of a barony or part of a county, having functions equivalent to those of a sheriff. A municipal officer or magistrate, corresponding to an alderman in England.
  • n. See baily.

Etymologies

Middle English baillie, town official, from Old French, variant of baillis; see bailiff.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • I mention them because it is supposed that a bailie is the most important human being in Scotland, and he feels it his duty not to yield to emotion.

    Kate Carnegie and Those Ministers

  • _ -- In Scotland the word bailiff has taken the form of "bailie," signifying a superior officer or magistrate of a municipal corporation.

    Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 2 "Baconthorpe" to "Bankruptcy"

  • Down the stairs he ran (for the parlour was nae place for him after such a word) and he heard the laird swearing blood and wounds behind him, as fast; as ever did Sir Robert, and roaring for the bailie and the baron-officer.

    Redgauntlet

  • The power of the baron-bailie himself, though the office was vested in the person of old

    Saint Ronan's Well

  • “Free and safe as a Whig bailie on the causeway of his own borough, or a canting Presbyterian minister in his own pulpit; and I came to tell you that you need not remain in hiding any longer.”

    The Bride of Lammermoor

  • You are to recollect, gentle reader, that as soon as the bailie and those who attended him saw that the smith had come up to the forlorn bonnet maker, and that the stranger had retreated, they gave themselves no trouble about advancing further to his assistance, which they regarded as quite ensured by the presence of the redoubted Henry Gow.

    The Fair Maid of Perth

  • To the general compliment the elder bailie replied.

    The Fair Maid of Perth

  • “Bring the stout smith to the council house,” said the bailie, as a mounted yeoman pressed through the crowd and whispered in his ear, “Here is a good fellow who says the Knight of Kinfauns is entering the port.”

    The Fair Maid of Perth

  • The porter of Kinfauns, who knew from a distance the persons and characters of the party, had already opened the courtyard gate for their entrance, and sent notice to Sir Patrick Charteris that the eldest bailie of Perth, with some other good citizens, were approaching the castle.

    The Fair Maid of Perth

  • I speak to our worthy and eldest bailie, Craigdallie, according to my poor mind.

    The Fair Maid of Perth

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