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90s Slang You Should Know


[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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for patrolman
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The patrolman heard the Thropp story and tried to keep the crowd away.

    We Can't Have Everything Rupert Hughes
  • patrolman Switzer looked then where she pointed, and could scarce believe his eyes.

    The Life of the Party Irvin Shrewsbury Cobb
  • The pistol went off grazing the edge of Batoche's fox-skin cap, and the hunter's blade plunged deep into the patrolman's heart.

    The Bastonnais John Lesperance
  • patrolman Willis set a time-switch and pushed the overdrive button.

    A Matter of Importance William Fitzgerald Jenkins
  • Forgetting their police power, I pushed one of them aside, declaring that I wanted a patrolman and not a house porter.

    My Life Josiah Flynt
  • Finally the patrolman announced one morning that there was no other way out of it.

    Mayflower (Flor de mayo) Vicente Blasco Ibez
  • There was a patrolman and a guard, I think, and perhaps a detective.

    Warren Commission (4 of 26): Hearings Vol. IV (of 15) The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy
  • 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
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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