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.

Nearby words

  1. posologic,
  2. posology,
  3. poss,
  4. poss.,
  5. posse,
  6. posser,
  7. possess,
  8. possessed,
  9. possessed by,
  10. possessed, the

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