- 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
Related Wordsdetective, force, man, corps, bluecoat, pig, blue, law, badge, patrolman, bear, heat, bull, cop, bobby, constable, fuzz, gumshoe, copper, constabulary
Examples from the Web for polices
Anyone who can't see how corrupted our polices are by the arms-dealer front group known as the NRA isn't looking very hard.9-Year Old With an Uzi? America Is Tougher on Toys Than Guns
August 28, 2014
It is the Navy that polices the sea lanes: for example, battling pirates.Obama Lets the Pirates Off
Stephen L. Carter
July 22, 2011
It was a clever idea to paint up the side of the Chief of Polices barn!Left Half Harmon
Ralph Henry Barbour
The society now protects and polices about one hundred of these refuges, which, of course, are worthless unless thus protected.A Book-Lover's Holidays in the Open
It polices the coast as the navy polices the ocean, and its duties are as varied as they are weighty and important.The Sea Rovers
Rufus Rockwell Wilson
- 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 polices
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.