Bail"iff (?), n. [OF. baillif, F. bailli, custodia magistrate, fr. L. bajulus porter. See Bail to deliver.]
Originally, a person put in charge of something especially, a chief officer, magistrate, or keeper, as of a county, town, hundred, or castle; one to whom power of custody or care are intrusted.
Lausanne is under the canton of Berne, governed by a bailiff sent every three years from the senate.
A sheriff's deputy, appointed to make arrests, collect fines, summon juries, etc.
⇒ In American law the term bailiff is seldom used except sometimes to signify a sheriff's officer or constable, or a party liable to account to another for the rent and profits of real estate.
An overseer or under steward of an estate, who directs husbandry operations, collects rents, etc.
© Webster 1913.