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[puh-lees-muh n] /pəˈlis mən/
noun, plural policemen.
a member of a police force or body.
Ice Hockey. enforcer (def 4).
Origin of policeman
First recorded in 1795-1805; police + -man
Related forms
policemanlike, adjective
Usage note
See -man. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for policeman
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He was stopped by a policeman, who demanded, "Whose bag is that, Johnny?"

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
  • A policeman told me that he lived on this street, and that his name is Calkins.

    Ester Ried Yet Speaking Isabella Alden
  • I would dismiss every policeman at once, with thanks, if I were you.

    Ester Ried Yet Speaking Isabella Alden
  • I am not sure that policeman Duffer would have recognized him.

    Ester Ried Yet Speaking Isabella Alden
  • The whole air of him, though he was in civilian's clothes, proclaimed the policeman.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
British Dictionary definitions for policeman


noun (pl) -men, -women
a member of a police force, esp one holding the rank of constable Gender-neutral form police officer
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 policeman

1790, from police (n.) + man (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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policeman in Medicine

policeman po·lice·man (pə-lēs'mən)
An instrument, usually a rubber-tipped rod, for removing solid particles from a glass container.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for policeman



enforcer: You had to bring in somebody who was as tough, or brutal, as they were. The kind of terminology for this role in hockey was ''policeman'' (1980s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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