from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.
- noun A staff with a metal tip, carried as a sign of office.
- noun An officer, such as a bailiff or constable, who carries a tipstaff.
from The Century Dictionary.
- noun A staff tipped or capped with metal; a staff having a crown or cap, formerly the badge of a constable or sheriff's officer.
- noun An officer bearing a tipstaff; especially, in England, a sheriff's officer charged with the execution of laws against debtors.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.
- noun A staff tipped with metal.
- noun An officer who bears a staff tipped with metal; a constable.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.
- noun A
ceremonial staff, with a metal tip, carried by a constableor bailiffetc as a sign of office
- noun An
officer, of a courtetc. who carries such a staff
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- noun staff with a metal tip carried as a sign of office by e.g. a bailiff or constable
from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
In some places a sheriff's officer is called a tipstaff, the name being derived from the custom of such officers bearing a
Especially if you put a metal spike on each end (see “tipstaff” in England, as carried by Medieval cops).
As Mr. Pickwick said this, he got into the coach which had by this time arrived, followed by the tipstaff.
Mr. Pickwick sat opposite the tipstaff; and the tipstaff sat with his hat between his knees, whistling a tune, and looking out of the coach window.
Here they stopped, while the tipstaff delivered his papers; and here
The usual forms having been gone through, the body of Samuel Pickwick was soon afterwards confided to the custody of the tipstaff, to be by him taken to the warden of the Fleet Prison, and there detained until the amount of the damages and costs in the action of Bardell against Pickwick was fully paid and satisfied.
That is the signal when their privileges are invaded by tipstaff or bailiff; and at the blast of the horn they all swarm out to the rescue, as bees when their hive is disturbed. —
During which time there made forth to us a small boat, with about eight persons in it, whereof one of them had in his hand a tipstaff of a yellow cane, tipped at both ends with blue, who made aboard our ship, without any show of distrust at all.
As we were leaving the court, a tipstaff came up to Joe Punchard, and formally arrested him as a runaway 'prentice; at the instance,
During which time there made forth to us a small boat, with about eight persons in it; whereof one of them had in his hand a tipstaff* of a yellow cane, tipped at both ends with blue, who came aboard our ship, without any show of distrust at all.