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illustration Bailiwick



Part of speech: noun

Origin: Middle English, 15th century


A bailiff's jurisdiction


A person's specific area of skill, knowledge, or ability

Examples of Bailiwick in a sentence

"Criminals who find themselves tried in his bailiwick can expect stern courtroom rules."

"I'm a novice at science, but literature is my bailiwick."

About Bailiwick

Bailiwick has been in use in English since the 15th century, but only in the 1800s did it begin to be used to describe a person's area of expertise or study. A biology professor would most definitely be an expert on the classification of mammals.

Did you Know?

We use bailiff to describe something very specific today — the official who oversees the security of a courtroom. But in Middle English, it referred to the sheriff of a town or region, and their bailiwick was their area of jurisdiction.

illustration Bailiwick

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