Definition of bailiwick in English:



  • 1one's bailiwickOne's sphere of operations or area of interest.

    ‘after the war, the Middle East remained his bailiwick’
    • ‘Here her analysis is most surefooted as she discusses late eighteenth and early nineteenth-century fiction, Benedict's professional bailiwick.’
    • ‘Thus, it doesn't really monkey with the states' authority after all; it only makes sure they stay in their traditional bailiwick.’
    • ‘Education is going to be your bailiwick for us, and then we're going to ask about that and a lot of other things.’
    • ‘And it has done so even in areas where the crime at issue seems to be a crime that falls squarely into the state's bailiwick - and does not affect federal interests at all.’
    • ‘And she's looking at a couple of other projects, but that's kind of out of my bailiwick, if you will.’
    area, sphere, area of activity, discipline, province, department, domain, sector, line, branch, subject, speciality, specialty, specialization, specialism
    View synonyms
  • 2Law
    The district or jurisdiction of a bailie or bailiff.

    ‘the warden had the right to arrest all poachers found within his bailiwick’
    • ‘The queen appoints a lieutenant-governor as her representative in the two bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey.’
    • ‘They are still causing mayhem in their southern bailiwick.’
    • ‘Will decentralization really bring politics closer to the people, or will we be returning to a bunch of little bailiwicks?’
    • ‘Their organization was strictly hierarchical, into priorates, then bailiwicks and lastly commanderies.’
    • ‘With very few exceptions, they easily agreed that what was going on in their bailiwicks was incomparable and required a different approach.’


Late Middle English: from bailie + wick.