- in England, esp. formerly, any of various officers of a shire, or county
- in the U.S., the chief law-enforcement officer of a county, charged in general with the keeping of the peace and the execution of court orders
Origin of sheriffMiddle English schirreve from Old English scirgerefa from scir, shire + gerefa, reeve
- A public officer in the United States with responsibility for certain law enforcement and administrative legal duties, such as making arrests and serving processes, usually for a particular county.
- A public officer in various other countries performing certain law enforcement, judicial, or ceremonial functions.
Origin of sheriffMiddle English the representative of royal authority in a shire from Old English scīrgerēfa scīr shire gerēfa reeve