- (of a police officer, soldier, etc.) to pass along a road, beat, etc., or around or through a specified area in order to maintain order and security.
- to maintain the order and security of (a road, beat, area, etc.) by passing along or through it.
- a person or group of persons assigned to patrol an area, road, etc.
- an automobile, ship, plane, squadron, fleet, etc., assigned to patrol an area.
- Military. a detachment of two or more persons, often a squad or platoon, detailed for reconnaissance or combat.
- the act of patrolling.
- patrol wagon.
- (in the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts) a subdivision of a troop, usually consisting of about eight members.
Origin of patrol
Related Wordsvigilance, garrison, safeguard, inspect, cruise, lookout, spy, watching, watch, protection, sentinel, scouting, policing, escorting, protecting, pound, police, mount, range, shotgun
Examples from the Web for patrol
“They just walk around, they ride in their patrol cars, and they just pass by,” he said.Ground Zero of the NYPD Slowdown
January 1, 2015
Brinsley stepped up to the passenger side of the patrol car, raised a silver Taurus semi-automatic pistol and began firing.'Please Don't Die!': The Frantic Battle to Save Murdered Cops
December 22, 2014
Lewis and the men he was with were given a goat and chicken that they were expected to kill and eat while on patrol.A West Point MVP Who Never Played a Down
December 13, 2014
On Southland, McKenzie played Ben Sherman, a patrol officer on the mean streets of Los Angeles.Ben McKenzie’s Journey From Reluctant Teen Idol on ‘The O.C.’ to Sheriff of ‘Gotham’
November 4, 2014
But uniformed guards do not patrol the halls of even the highest-risk units.Inside a Hospital for the Criminally Insane
September 15, 2014
Scarcely a night went by without its patrol or ambulance case.K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
The men in the canoe were surely keen of eye, and they must be a patrol.The Rock of Chickamauga
Joseph A. Altsheler
I set off with all speed, and when I arrived there was a Prussian patrol at the cottage.A Comedy of Marriage and Other Tales
Guy De Maupassant
Possibly, after all, the man was merely a patrol from some outlying station.The Law-Breakers
I'll tell you what you might do, Chance: you might patrol the roads on the edge of town.Sure Pop and the Safety Scouts
Roy Rutherford Bailey
- the action of going through or around a town, neighbourhood, etc, at regular intervals for purposes of security or observation
- a person or group that carries out such an action
- a military detachment with the mission of security, gathering information, or combat with enemy forces
- a division of a troop of Scouts or Guides
- to engage in a patrol of (a place)
Word Origin and History for patrol
1660s, "action of going the rounds" (of a military camp, etc.), from French patrouille "a night watch" (1530s), from patrouiller "go the rounds to watch or guard," originally "tramp through the mud," probably soldiers' slang, from Old French patouiller "paddle in water," probably from pate "paw, foot" (see patten). Compare paddlefoot, World War II U.S. Army slang for "infantry soldier." Meaning "those who go on a patrol" is from 1660s. Sense of "detachment of soldiers sent out to scout the countryside, the enemy, etc." is attested from 1702.
1690s, from patrol (n.) and in part from French patrouiller. Related: Patrolled; patrolling.