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A sheriff is a government official, with varying duties, existing in some countries with historical ties to England, where the office originated. There is an analogous although independently developed office in Iceland that is commonly translated to English as sheriff, and this is discussed below.

Description

Historically, a sheriff was a legal official with responsibility for a shire, the term being a contraction of "shire reeve" (Old English scīrgerefa).[1][2]

In British English, the political or legal office of a sheriff, term of office of a sheriff, or jurisdiction of a sheriff, is called a shrievalty[1] in England and Wales, and a sheriffdom[2] in Scotland.

In modern times, the specific combination of legal, political and ceremonial duties of a sheriff varies greatly from country to country.