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posse

[pos-ee] /ˈpɒs i/
noun
2.
a body or force armed with legal authority.
3.
Slang. a group of friends or associates:
hanging out with your posse; a posse of drug dealers.
Origin of posse
1575-1585
1575-85; < Medieval Latin posse power, force, noun use of L infinitive: to be able, have power, equivalent to pot- (see potent1) + -se infinitive suffix

in posse

[in pos-e; English in pos-ee] /ɪn ˈpɒs ɛ; English ɪn ˈpɒs i/
adverb, adjective, Latin.
1.
in possibility; potentially (contrasted with in esse).
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for posse
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • This cook, Steck, was captured by the posse behind the breastworks.

    History of 'Billy the Kid' Chas. A. Siringo
  • Illness had not been accepted by the "posse" as an excuse for delay.

    The Story of the Mormons William Alexander Linn
  • I'll be out here bright and early tomorrow morning with my posse, an' we'll take them fellers off'm your hands.

    Anderson Crow, Detective George Barr McCutcheon
  • He was said to have been with the posse that killed Tunstall.

    The Story of the Outlaw Emerson Hough
  • And where he ate the sheriff and his posse would likewise have to dine.

    The Highgrader William MacLeod Raine
British Dictionary definitions for posse

posse

/ˈpɒsɪ/
noun
1.
(US) Also called posse comitatus. the able-bodied men of a district assembled together and forming a group upon whom the sheriff may call for assistance in maintaining law and order
2.
(law) possibility (esp in the phrase in posse)
3.
(slang) a Jamaican street gang in the US
4.
(informal) a group of friends or associates
Word Origin
C16: from Medieval Latin (n): power, strength, from Latin (vb): to be able, have power

in posse

/ɪn ˈpɒsɪ/
adjective
1.
possible; potential Compare in esse
Word Origin
Latin, literally: in possibility
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 posse
n.

1640s (in Anglo-Latin from early 14c.), shortening of posse comitatus "the force of the county" (1620s, in Anglo-Latin from late 13c.), from Medieval Latin posse "body of men, power," from Latin posse "have power, be able" (see potent) + comitatus "of the county," genitive of Late Latin word for "court palace" (see comitatus). Modern slang meaning "small gang" is probably from Western movies.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for posse

posse

noun

: I thought posses were Jamaican. Language changes very fast here, now it just means a small gang

[1980s+ Black teenagers; probably fr the sheriff's posse seen so often in cowboy movies]

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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Word Value for posse

7
8
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