- noun an official in charge of justice in a county
- noun the chief judge in a district
- noun a judge who presides over a sheriff court, one of the lower courts for civil and criminal cases
- noun a fifty-pence coin. The nickname comes from the supposed resemblance to a western sheriff’s star.
Origin & History of “sheriff”
A sheriff is etymologically a ‘shire-reeve’ – that is, a ‘county official’. The term was compounded in the Old English period from scīr, ancestor of modern English shire, and gerēfa ‘local official’, a word based on *rōf ‘assembly’ which survives as the historical term reeve. It was used for the ‘monarch’s representative in a county’.