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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for posses
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Excursions can be made from Paris to places within easy distance that posses Gothic-Renaissance glass.

    How France Built Her Cathedrals Elizabeth Boyle O'Reilly
  • Don't you know we just got in from hunting you—two posses of us been out all night?

    The Yukon Trail William MacLeod Raine
  • I aim to get back in time to join one of the posses in their hunt for the outlaws.

    Oh, You Tex! William Macleod Raine
  • posses went in every direction, and not a stone was left unturned.

    The Red Record Ida B. Wells-Barnett
  • He had evaded posses before––posses composed of trained men who were accustomed to take the man trail.

    The Coyote James Roberts
  • We'll get the rubes to looking for him in posses, offer rewards.

    Twelve Men Theodore Dreiser
  • The expenses of posses were to be charged against the county.

British Dictionary definitions for posses

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
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 posses

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 posses

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 posses

8
9
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