[ puh-trohl ]
See synonyms for: patrolpatrolling on

verb (used without object),pa·trolled, pa·trol·ling.
  1. (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.

verb (used with object),pa·trolled, pa·trol·ling.
  1. to maintain the order and security of (a road, beat, area, etc.) by passing along or through it.

  1. a person or group of persons assigned to patrol an area, road, etc.

  2. an automobile, ship, plane, squadron, fleet, etc., assigned to patrol an area.

  1. Military. a detachment of two or more persons, often a squad or platoon, detailed for reconnaissance or combat.

  2. the act of patrolling.

  3. (in the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts) a subdivision of a troop, usually consisting of about eight members.

Origin of patrol

1655–65; <French patrouille (noun), patrouiller (v.) patrol, originally a pawing (noun), to paw (v.) in mud; derivative (with suffixal -ouille) of patte paw; -r- unexplained

Other words from patrol

  • pa·trol·ler, noun
  • re·pa·trol, verb (used with object), re·pa·trolled, re·pa·trol·ling.
  • un·pa·trolled, adjective
  • well-pa·trolled, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use patrol in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for patrol


/ (pəˈtrəʊl) /

  1. the action of going through or around a town, neighbourhood, etc, at regular intervals for purposes of security or observation

  2. a person or group that carries out such an action

  1. a military detachment with the mission of security, gathering information, or combat with enemy forces

  2. a division of a troop of Scouts or Guides

verb-trols, -trolling or -trolled
  1. to engage in a patrol of (a place)

Origin of patrol

C17: from French patrouiller, from patouiller to flounder in mud, from patte paw

Derived forms of patrol

  • patroller, noun

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