posse comitatus

[ pos-ee kom-i-tah-tuh s, -tey- ]
/ ˈpɒs i ˌkɒm ɪˈtɑ təs, -ˈteɪ- /


the body of persons that a peace officer of a county is empowered to call upon for assistance in preserving the peace, making arrests, and serving writs.
a body of persons so called into service.

Words nearby posse comitatus

Origin of posse comitatus

1620–30; < Medieval Latin: posse of the county
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for posse comitatus

  • All he did was to reduce the report of the doctors to writing, and to return to his office with his posse-comitatus at his heels.

British Dictionary definitions for posse comitatus

posse comitatus
/ (ˌkɒmɪˈtɑːtəs) /


the formal legal term for posse (def. 1)

Word Origin for posse comitatus

Medieval Latin: strength (manpower) of the county
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