Definition of bailiff in English:

bailiff

noun

  • 1British A sheriff's officer who executes writs and processes and carries out distraints and arrests.

    • ‘In those circumstances, the police officers were not justified in arresting the bailiff on the ground that he declined to accede to their request that he should leave the building he had lawfully entered.’
    • ‘The bailiffs executed a warrant last Friday and locked up the business.’
    • ‘The hundred bailiff served the sheriff's writs and the constable maintained law and order.’
    • ‘As for resisting eviction, League members knew that if only they could stop the process server or bailiff from actually serving the ejectment writ or civil bill on the occupier, then no eviction could take place.’
    • ‘The point I was going to make is that when a bailiff goes around to serve a warrant for arrest on a fines defaulter, the bailiff finds all too often that the person is no longer at the address that was given.’
    • ‘The one who escaped submitted a statement to the local court: the sheriff declared the arrest illegal, fined the bailiff, and insisted that the original dispute over labour payments could be heard only when the men were freed.’
    • ‘There is a video of the leasehold premises taken by a bailiff around the time the Old Lease was terminated.’
    • ‘If you still haven't paid, they hand the writ to a city bailiff.’
    • ‘If this is not done, then the person who has the reversion may bring an action before the bailiffs, either by gage and pledge or by writ.’
    • ‘The principal change proposed in this legislation is to allow bailiffs to execute warrants to collect money owed by fines defaulters.’
    • ‘When the manager and a bailiff checked the person out they found 14 fish hidden in the boat.’
    • ‘He does, after all, owe me 100 from the Troon Open which, despite invoices, writs, bailiffs and enforcers, he still has not paid.’
    • ‘Following his incitement Kelly was taken into custody by a bailiff from the county sheriff's office but was subsequently released on a $50,000 personal recognisance bond.’
    • ‘One Trustee eventually engaged bailiffs who went to the Museum, broke in the doors and burst through into Krefft's rooms.’
    • ‘Another criminal, this one appearing in court on drug possession charges, was arrested by a bailiff after it was discovered he'd smuggled illegal drugs into his own hearing.’
    • ‘He used Ipswich as a base for smuggling, and had so much influence over the bailiffs that they arrested and fined a customs searcher who had caught Debenham smuggling.’
    • ‘My questions are: is it correct to ask for money to pay the bailiff or for an arrest or is it a bribe?’
    • ‘It is correct that at anytime they may seek to enforce their order for possession and, if they have it, execute a warrant for possession by instructing the bailiffs to carry out the warrant.’
    • ‘He allegedly claimed he had a 12-bore shotgun and threatened officers, a bailiff and officials with death after they turned up to throw him out.’
    • ‘When an attempt was made to enforce the warrant on 2 March Mr Rahman paid the bailiff £750, the warrant was withdrawn and enforcement was not proceeded with.’
    1. 1.1 The agent of a landlord.
      • ‘Last week bailiffs tried to carry out an eviction only to be turned away by protesters.’
      • ‘Manorial lords typically held many estates throughout England, the estates being run on a day to day basis by bailiffs or stewards.’
      • ‘It may be better to contact the bailiff's head office and agree regular monthly payments with them, which you can realistically afford.’
      • ‘If it is not vacated by today, the council will seek a court order to send in bailiffs.’
      • ‘The landlord took his estates into his own hands, appointed bailiffs and reeves to run them and sell the surplus on the open market.’
      • ‘Large cordons of police kept the tenants from defending the man while a group of bailiffs and police carried out the eviction.’
      • ‘The court order was soon breached on several occasions and now bailiffs have carried out evictions at both houses.’
      • ‘A stern faced agent accompanied by red-coats and bailiffs, complete with battering ram came to a wayside cottage and preceded to evict the poor tenants but not without some stern resistance.’
      • ‘‘When they have a court order the bailiffs can gain repossession of the land and can ask the police for help if they need it,’ says John.’
      • ‘The tenants-in-chief might then grant the land to sub-tenants in return for rents or services, or work the estate themselves through a bailiff.’
      • ‘Thieves are posing as bailiffs to break into people's homes to steal TVs and furniture.’
      • ‘Mr Scarth, who served on Russian convoys in the Arctic during the Second World War, was convicted of wounding a bailiff as he was evicted from a house in Leeds in 1999.’
      • ‘Squatters were given their marching orders after police, bailiffs and immigration officials teamed up for an eviction sting.’
      • ‘On 22nd July, the father employed bailiffs to levy distress on the company in respect of £2,857 allegedly owed as rent.’
      • ‘His last, wretched, years were marred by drunkenness and the depredations of the bailiffs, who carried off his household furniture.’
      • ‘In the wife's words she lived in a world of unpaid bills, bailiffs at the door and second mortgages.’
      • ‘This week bailiffs are due to start the eviction process against the activists who have set up camp at the site.’
      • ‘Such estates were entrusted to bailiffs who all too often were dishonest and tyrannical.’
      • ‘If they fail to do so, a bailiff will be instructed to execute a warrant to evict them.’
      • ‘The bulk of the £15,000 was in the form of a banker's draft paid to the bailiffs for the rent due from CIL, not Mr Brewer.’
      manager, estate manager, agent, overseer, custodian, caretaker
      View synonyms
  • 2North American An official in a court of law who keeps order, looks after prisoners, etc.

    • ‘We were greeted by two bailiffs and two prosecutors who worked grand juries full-time.’
    • ‘Gloucester ordered the bailiff to open the gates and behind the door was the most unlikely of persons.’
    • ‘I have been informed by the jury bailiff that you have reached a decision on a majority and I have been told what that majority is.’
    • ‘‘Please all rise for the honorable Judge Quincy Miller,’ called out the bailiff, and the people obeyed.’
    • ‘Byrd toiled as a bailiff in Brooklyn during the late 1980s, guarding family court judges including Sheindlin.’
    • ‘Before the video was over, the bailiff, a police officer in the courtroom, turned it off.’
    • ‘Otherwise, courtroom bailiffs and probation officers might have to start accompanying athletes to the games.’
    • ‘Young people usually serve as jurors and may also fill the roles of prosecuting attorney, defense attorney, judge, bailiff, or other officers of the court.’
    • ‘Typically officer of the court refers to a judge, clerk, bailiff, sheriff, or the like, but the term also applies to a lawyer, who is obliged to obey court rules and who owes a duty of candor to the court.’
    • ‘The process involves court bailiffs deciding whether to arrest Mr Shepherd or to pass the order onto police for them to arrest him.’
    • ‘A bailiff leads K through a labyrinthine police precinct populated with people in similar situations.’
    • ‘Judge Doherty was uncertain about the standard of proof in a criminal case, so in a time-honored tradition of judicial review, he consulted his bailiff.’
    • ‘He added: ‘If they still fail to leave, county court bailiffs will be sent to evict them with police back up if necessary.’’
    • ‘A court order had been sought and granted, and a bailiff engaged.’
    • ‘The judge's bailiff plays the opera on a boombox for the perpetrators who can only sit and stare back and not look out the window or nap.’
    • ‘Civil injunctions are enforced by the court staff and not by the police, but there is no means of calling out the tipstaff or bailiff at midnight on a Saturday night to deal with a drunken partner.’
    • ‘The judges often serve as their own court reporter and bailiff.’
    • ‘Court stands in recess and will the bailiff please arrange to have the broken glass cleaned up.’
    • ‘The bailiff carried the slip of paper to the clerk.’
    • ‘Accordingly we ordered that affidavits should be taken from each of the 12 jurors and from the two bailiffs looking after them at the hotel.’
  • 3British historical The sovereign's representative in a district, especially the chief officer of a hundred.

    • ‘The principal officer was the bailiff of the hundred, who in 1212 was Gerald de Clayton.’
    • ‘Nor any Sheriff, or his Bailiff, shall keep his Turn in the Hundred but twice in the Year.’
    • ‘The waifs, strays, deodands, goods of felons and fugitives, etc., within the hundred belonged to the lord if the bailiff of the hundred seized them first.’
    • ‘Next, the Bailiff of the Hundred had to be summoned and he, or one of the locals, had to notify the Coroner without delay.’
    • ‘When his widow died in 1767, her heirs had a bailiff's assessment of her movable property carried out.’
    1. 3.1 The first civil officer in the Channel Islands.
      • ‘In the bailiwick of Guernsey the Bailiff's duties are at least as multitudinous: possibly more so, as his jurisdiction covers several islands.’
      • ‘The term bailiwick dates to the mid-15th century and originally meant the district under a bailiff’s jurisdiction.’
      • ‘Jersey is a Bailiwick, and the Bailiff is the civic head of the Island.’
      • ‘The Bailiff is delighted Princess Anne decided to visit the Islands.’
      • ‘In 1725 the Auditor of Land Revenue suggested that a bailiff be appointed for the bailiwick to collect rents.’

Origin

Middle English: from Old French baillif, inflected form of bailli (see bailie), based on Latin bajulus ‘carrier, manager’.

Pronunciation

bailiff

/ˈbeɪlɪf/