Old English scir "administrative office, jurisdiction, stewardship, authority," also in particular use "district, province, country," from Proto-Germanic *skizo (source also of Old High German scira "care, official charge"). Ousted since 14c. by Anglo-French county. The gentrified sense is from The Shires (1796), used by people in other parts of England of those counties that end in -shire; sense transferred to "hunting country of the Midlands" (1860).
"steward," Middle English reve, refe, reive, rive, from Old English gerefa "king's officer," an Anglo-Saxon official of high rank, having local jurisdiction under a king, usually charged with administration of the affairs of a town or district. A word of unknown origin and with no known cognates, it is not considered to be connected to German Graf (see margrave). Compare sheriff. In Middle English also of manorial managers (c. 1300), an agent or steward of God (late 14c.). The mid-15c. "Life of St. Norbert" calls the Devil a wikkid reue. Related: Reeveship.
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Definitions of sheriff from WordNet
the principal law-enforcement officer in a county;