Legal Definition and Related Resources of Sheriff

Meaning of Sheriff

A county officer representing the executive or administrative power of the state within his county. See Blackburn v Brorein, (Fla.) 70 So.2d 293. His functions include the execution of all writs or other process within his county.

Sheriff Alternative Definition

(Sax. seyre, shire, reve, keeper). A county officer representing the executive or administrative power of the state within his county. The office is said by Camden to have been created by Alfred when he divided England into counties; but Lord Coke is of opinion that it is of still greater antiquity, and that it existed in the time of the Romans, being the deputy of the earl (comes), to whom the custody of the shire was originally committed, and hence known as vice comes. Camden, 156; Co. Litt. 168a; Dalton, Sheriff, 5. The office was anciently of great dignity, and conferred considerable judicial power. 1 Bl. Comm. 117; 3 Bl. Comm. 80. In the United States, he is the chief peace oflScer of the county, is the custodian of the county jail, and executes the civil and criminal process and mandates of the courts within his county.

Related Entries of Sheriff in the Encyclopedia of Law Project

Browse or run a search for Sheriff in the American Encyclopedia of Law, the Asian Encyclopedia of Law, the European Encyclopedia of Law, the UK Encyclopedia of Law or the Latin American and Spanish Encyclopedia of Law.

Sheriff in Historical Law

You might be interested in the historical meaning of this term. Browse or search for Sheriff in Historical Law in the Encyclopedia of Law.

Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms

Search for legal acronyms and/or abbreviations containing Sheriff in the Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms Dictionary.

Related Legal Terms

You might be also interested in these legal terms:

Mentioned in these terms

Challenge, Execution, Gloves, Judgment Lien, , , Manucaptio, Mittimus, Panel, Remembrancer, Return, Return Day, Search Warrant, Sheriff Sale.


You might be interested in these references tools:

Resource Description
Sheriff in the Dictionary Sheriff in our legal dictionaries
Browse the Legal Thesaurus Find synonyms and related words of Sheriff
Legal Maxims Maxims are established principles that jurists use as interpretive tools, invoked more frequently in international law
Legal Answers (Q&A) A community-driven knowledge creation process, of enduring value to a broad audience
Related topics Sheriff in the World Encyclopedia of Law


This definition of Sheriff is based on the The Cyclopedic Law Dictionary . This entry needs to be proofread.

Vocabularies (Semantic Web Information)


Resource Description
Topic Map A group of names, occurrences and associations
Topic Tree A topic display format, showing the hierarchy
Sitemap Index Sitemap Index, including Taxonomies The URI of Sheriff (more about URIs)

Sheriff in the Dictionary of Law consisting of Judicial Definitions and Explanations of Words, Phrases and Maxims

Saxon shire, a part sheared off: a division, county; and reeve, a bailiff, officer. 1 Bl. Com. 116, 117, 339; 54 Pa. 275. An officer who represents the administrative power of a State within one of its counties: an officer who executes the mandates of the courts of record within a county; the chief ministerial officer in a county.

Note: This legal definition of Sheriff in the Dictionary of Law (English and American Jurisprudence) is from 1893.


This term is a noun.

Etimology of Sheriff

(You may find sheriff at the world legal encyclopedia and the etimology of more terms).

late Old English scirgerefa “representative of royal authority in a shire,” from scir (see shire) + gerefa “chief, official, reeve” (see reeve). As an American county official, attested from 1660s; sheriff’s sale first recorded 1798. Sheriff’s tooth (late 14c.) was a common name for the annual tax levied to pay for the sheriff’s victuals during court sessions.


See Also

  • Law Dictionaries.
  • Service of Process.


  • Sheriff in Law Enforcement

    Main Entry: Law Enforcement in the Legal Dictionary. This section provides, in the context of Law Enforcement, a partial definition of sheriff.


    See Also

    • Law Enforcement Officer
    • Police
    • Law Enforcement Agency

    Further Reading



    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *