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Gestapo

[guh-stah-poh; German guh-shtah-poh]
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noun
  1. the German state secret police during the Nazi regime, organized in 1933 and notorious for its brutal methods and operations.
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adjective
  1. (sometimes lowercase) of or resembling the Nazi Gestapo, especially in the brutal suppression of opposition: The new regime is using gestapo tactics.
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Origin of Gestapo

< German Ge(heime) Sta(ats)po(lizei)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for gestapo

Gestapo

noun
  1. the secret state police in Nazi Germany, noted for its brutal methods of interrogation
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Word Origin

from German Ge (heime) Sta (ats) po (lizei), literally: secret state police
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

Word Origin and History for gestapo

Gestapo

Nazi secret state police, 1934, from German Gestapo, contracted from "Geheime Staats-polizei," literally "secret state police," set up by Hermann Göring in Prussia in 1933, extended to all Germany in January 1934.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

gestapo in Culture

Gestapo

[(guh-stah-poh, guh-shtah-poh)]

The secret police of the Third Reich in Germany. The Gestapo operated against Germans suspected of treason by using brutal interrogation and torture; they instilled widespread fear by their terrorist methods.

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Note

“Gestapo tactics” in general are intimidating official procedures.

Note

Figuratively, any brutal secret police organization may be called a “gestapo.”
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.