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[puh-trohl-muh n] /pəˈtroʊl mən/
noun, plural patrolmen.
a police officer who is assigned to patrol a specific district, route, etc.
a person who patrols.
Origin of patrolman
An Americanism dating back to 1840-50; patrol + -man
Usage note
See -man. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for patrolman
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Finally the patrolman announced one morning that there was no other way out of it.

    Mayflower (Flor de mayo) Vicente Blasco Ibez
  • The patrolman says that he has seen no light in the house since the family sailed for Africa.

    The Lure of the Mask Harold MacGrath
  • There was no time now to seek out the patrolman on the post; the job must be all his.

    From Place to Place

    Irvin S. Cobb
  • During that time, he'd expected the sound of shots from the patrolman's gun.

    Ten From Infinity Paul W. Fairman
  • "Got some kid back in the tank, or somewhere," the patrolman said.

    Out Like a Light Gordon Randall Garrett
  • patrolman Switzer looked then where she pointed, and could scarce believe his eyes.

    The Life of the Party Irvin Shrewsbury Cobb
  • patrolman Willis met with the sergeant's approval, to be sure.

    A Matter of Importance William Fitzgerald Jenkins
  • patrolman Willis set a time-switch and pushed the overdrive button.

    A Matter of Importance William Fitzgerald Jenkins
British Dictionary definitions for patrolman


noun (pl) -men
(mainly US) a man, esp a policeman, who patrols a certain area
(Brit) a man employed to patrol an area to help motorists in difficulty
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for patrolman

"police constable on a particular beat," 1841, from patrol (n.) + man (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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