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secret police

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noun

a police force that functions as the enforcement arm of a government's political policies and whose activities, which often include surveillance, intimidation, and physical violence as a means of suppressing dissent, are usually concealed from the public.

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Also called security police.

Origin of secret police

First recorded in 1920–25
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for secret police

secret police

noun

a police force that operates relatively secretly to check subversion or political dissent
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
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