1. a person’s specific area of interest, skill, or authority 2. the office or district of a bailiff

I saw this word in a New York Times article: “In the latest twist in an accelerating technological free-for-all, the Baby Bells are trying to shore up their flagging fortunes by muscling their way into what was until just a decade ago the bailiwick of cable companies.” I love this word because it sounds funny, even though the meaning is humorless. When I first came across it, I thought it might be something people use for smacking others.

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