- Also called police force. an organized civil force for maintaining order, preventing and detecting crime, and enforcing the laws.
- (used with a plural verb) members of such a force: Several police are patrolling the neighborhood.
- the regulation and control of a community, especially for the maintenance of public order, safety, health, morals, etc.
- the department of the government concerned with this, especially with the maintenance of order.
- any body of people officially maintained or employed to keep order, enforce regulations, etc.
- people who seek to regulate a specified activity, practice, etc.: the language police.
- Military. (in the U.S. Army)
- the cleaning and keeping clean of a camp, post, station, etc.
- the condition of a camp, post, station, etc., with reference to cleanliness.
- to regulate, control, or keep in order by or as if by means of police.
- Military. to clean and keep clean (a camp, post, etc.)
Origin of police
Examples from the Web for police
Police officials told the AP that they came out with guns blazing.France Kills Charlie Hebdo Murderers
January 9, 2015
Smith attended both funerals as a cop and as the husband of Police Officer Moira Smith, who died on 9/11.The Muslim Cop Killed by Terrorists
January 9, 2015
But along with the cartoon funk is an all-too-real story of police brutality embodied by a horde of evil Pigs.
“The Wizard of Watts is not just about police brutality,” he says.
A Charlie Hebdo reporter said that security provision had been relaxed in the last month or so and the police car disappeared.France Mourns—and Hunts
Nico Hines, Christopher Dickey
January 8, 2015
He also is the chief of the police force and catches the thieves.Ancient Man
Hendrik Willem van Loon
There's police, an' them's there for boys to mind what they're about.Weighed and Wanting
There were reasons why none of them cared to come before the police court just now.
Why didn't you let them bring in their police and settle us?
The boys returned to their memories of insult, as they regarded the police force.
- the policethe organized civil force of a state, concerned with maintenance of law and order, the detection and prevention of crime, etc
- (as modifier)a police inquiry
- (functioning as plural) the members of such a force collectively
- any organized body with a similar functionsecurity police
- the regulation and control of a community, esp in regard to the enforcement of law, the prevention of crime, etc
- the department of government concerned with this
- to regulate, control, or keep in order by means of a police or similar force
- to observe or record the activity or enforcement ofa committee was set up to police the new agreement on picketing
- US to make or keep (a military camp, etc) clean and orderly
Word Origin and History for police
Until mid-19c. used in England for "civil administration;" application to "administration of public order" (1716) is from French (late 17c.), and originally in English referred to France or other foreign nations. The first force so-named in England was the Marine Police, set up 1798 to protect merchandise at the Port of London. Police state "state regulated by means of national police" first recorded 1865, with reference to Austria. Police action in the international sense of "military intervention short of war, ostensibly to correct lawlessness" is from 1933. Police officer is attested from 1800. Police station is from 1817.
"to keep order in," 1580s, from Middle French policer, from police (see police (n.)). Meaning "to keep order by means of police" is from 1837. Related: Policed; policing.