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Anglo-Norman and Old French bailif (plural bailis), Late Latin *bāiulivus. Compare Modern French bailli



bailiff ‎(plural bailiffs)

  1. (law) A legal officer to whom some degree of authority, care or jurisdiction is committed.
  2. (Britain) The steward or overseer of an estate.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 19, The Mirror and the Lamp:
      Nothing was too small to receive attention, if a supervising eye could suggest improvements likely to conduce to the common welfare. Mr. Gordon Burnage, for instance, personally visited dust-bins and back premises, accompanied by a sort of village bailiff, going his round like a commanding officer doing billets.
  3. (Channel Islands) The Chief Justice in each of the Channel Island bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey, also serving as president of the legislature and having ceremonial and executive functions.
    • 2011 June 29, “The Bailiff of Jersey”, States Assembly, accessed on 2013-03-03:
      The Bailiff of Jersey is the President of the States and acts as Speaker of the Assembly in the Westminster tradition. He is responsible for the orderly conduct of the States Assembly and its business. As Presiding Officer he has the right of speech – which is mainly exercised for ensuring the orderly conduct of the proceedings – but he cannot vote.

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