American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The chief law enforcement officer for the courts in a U.S. county.
- n. An officer of a county or an administrative region in England, Northern Ireland, and Scotland, charged mainly with judicial duties.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The chief civil officer charged with administering justice within a county, under direction of the courts, or of the crown or other executive head of the state, and usually having also some incidental judicial functions. In England, the chief officer of the crown in every county or shire, who does all the sovereign's business in the county, the crown by letters patent committing the custody of the county to him alone. Sheriffs are appointed by the crown upon presentation of the judges in a manner partly regulated by law and partly by custom (see
pricking); the citizens of London, however, have the right of electing the sheriffs for the city of London and the county of Middlesex. Those appointed are bound under a penalty to serve the office, except in specified cases of exemption or disability. As keeper of the queen's peace, the sheriff is the first man in the county, and superior in rank to any nobleman therein during his office, which he holds for a year. He is specially intrusted with the execution of the laws and the preservation of the peace, and for this purpose he has at his disposal the whole civil force of the county—in old legal phraseology, the posse comitatus. He has also some judicial functions. less extensive now than formerly. The most ordinary of his functions, which he always executes by a deputy called under-sheriff, consists in the execution of writs. The sheriff performs in person such duties only as are either purely honorary, such as attendance upon the judges on circuit, or of some dignity and public importance, such as the presiding over elections and the holding of county meetings, which he may call at any time.
- n. In Scotland, the chief local judge of a county. There are two grades of sheriffs, the chief or superior sheriffs and the sheriffs-substitute (besides the lord lieutenant of the county, who has the honorary title of sheriff-principal), both being appointed by the crown. The chief sheriff, usually called simply the sheriff, may have more than one substitute under him, and the discharge of the greater part of the duties of the office now practically rests with the sheriffs-substitute, the sheriff being (except in one or two cases) a practising advocate in Edinburgh, while the sheriff-substitute is prohibited from taking other employment, and must reside within his county. The civil jurisdiction of the sheriff extends to all personal actions on contract, bond, or obligation without limit, actions for rent, possessory actions, etc., in which cases there is an appeal from the decision of the sheriff-substitute to the sheriff, and from him to the Court of Session. He has also a summary jurisdiction in small-debt cases where the value is not more than £12. In criminal cases the sheriff has jurisdiction in all offenses the punishment for which is not more than two years' imprisonment. He has also jurisdiction in bankruptcy cases to any amount.
- n. In the United States, except in New Hampshire and Rhode Island, sheriffs are elected by popular vote, the qualification being that the sheriff must be a man, of age, a citizen of the United States and of the State, and a resident in the county; usually he can hold no other office, and is not eligible for reëlection until after the lapse of a limited period. In all the States there are deputy sheriffs, who are agents and servants of the sheriff. In New York and some other States there is, as in England, an under-sheriff, who acts in place of his chief in the latter's absence, etc. The principal duties of the sheriff are to preserve peace and order throughout the county, to attend the courts as the administrative officer of the law, to guard prisoners and juries, to serve the process and execute the judgments of the courts, and to preside at inquisitions and assessments of damages on default.
- n. See sherif.
- n. UK, except, Scotland (High Sheriff) An official of a shire or county office, responsible for carrying out court orders and other duties.
- n. Scotland A judge in the sheriff court, the court of a county or sheriffdom.
- n. US A police officer, usually the chief of police for a county or other district.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. 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.
- n. the principal law-enforcement officer in a county
- Old English scīrġerēfa, corresponding to shire + reeve. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English, the representative of royal authority in a shire, from Old English scīrgerēfa : scīr, shire + gerēfa, reeve. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“_that_ law and _that_ oath, compelled to canvass and estimate votes, however fraudulently obtained, which should be delivered into the secretary's office _by any person styling_ himself sheriff, though it should at the same time be evident to them that he was _not the sheriff_.”
“I should say I also suspect the sheriff is our serial killer of fangbangers.”
“These idiots are the problem, and they dont like the fact that the sheriff is an N-word, and telling them what they need to do PERIOD”
“So they come to Pima County where the sheriff is a total wuss.”
“Suppose the sheriff is after a mass murderer in your community, and he knows the guilty party is hanging out in the hills just outside of town.”
“And the West Redneckistan in which I currently reside, where teh "sheriff" is an active klansman.”
“Convince a conservative that some southern sheriff is really using racial profiling as an excuse to harass black people and you will find that conservatives are just as outraged as anyone, but the mere potential for this to occur is no argument against racial profiling any more than the potential for a policeman to abuse his authority is an argument against having policemen.”
“The Cook County sheriff is doing no one a service, not the tax payers, not the sex workers targeted.”
“What: A West Texas deputy sheriff is slowly unmasked as a psychotic killer.”
“Mr. MECKLER: We want them to let Boehner and McConnell and the others that have been in Congress for a while know that there's essentially a new sheriff in town, and that sheriff is the American citizen.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘sheriff’.
Legal glossary with special focus on courtroom vocabulary
An act for the better securing the liberty of the subject, and for prevention of imprisonments beyond the seas.
WHEREAS great delays have been used by sheriffs, gaolers and other offi...
Words ending in double F
Stuffie #9. Stuff you shoot.
these words are permanently linked in my mind with a particular context, or are made-up words from books and the like. e.g. esteekers is from a kids' book called Sahara Special.
Looking for tweets for sheriff.