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posse comitatus

[pos-ee kom-i-tah-tuh s, -tey-]
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noun
  1. the body of persons that a peace officer of a county is empowered to call upon for assistance in preserving the peace, making arrests, and serving writs.
  2. a body of persons so called into service.

Origin of posse comitatus

1620–30; < Medieval Latin: posse of the county
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for posse comitatus

Historical Examples

  • All he did was to reduce the report of the doctors to writing, and to return to his office with his posse-comitatus at his heels.

    My Miscellanies, Vol. 2 (of 2)

    Wilkie Collins


British Dictionary definitions for posse comitatus

posse comitatus

noun
  1. the formal legal term for posse (def. 1)

Word Origin

Medieval Latin: strength (manpower) of the county
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