a nation in which the police, especially a secret police, summarily suppresses any social, economic, or political act that conflicts with governmental policy.
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Origin of police state
First recorded in 1860–65
Words nearby police state
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for police state
a state or country in which a repressive government maintains control through the 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
Cultural definitions for police state
A nation whose rulers maintain order and obedience by the threat of police or military force; one with a brutal, arbitrary government.
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.