Pronunciation: (bā'lif), [key]
1. an officer, similar to a sheriff or a sheriff's deputy, employed to execute writs and processes, make arrests, keep order in the court, etc.
2. (in Britain) a person charged with local administrative authority, or the chief magistrate in certain towns.
3. (esp. in Britain) an overseer of a landed estate or farm.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.