- noun a person employed by the court whose responsibility is to see that documents such as summonses are served and that court orders are obeyed
- noun in the UK excluding Scotland, a legal officer who serves under a sheriff and is empowered to take possession of a debtor’s property, forcibly if necessary, to serve writs and to make arrests
Origin & History of “bailiff”
Latin bājulus meant literally ‘carrier’ (it is probably the ultimate source of English bail in some if not all of its uses). It developed the metaphorical meaning ‘person in charge, administrator’, which passed, via the hypothetical medieval adjectival form *bājulīvus, into Old French as baillif, and hence into English.