- the cleaning and keeping clean of a camp, post, station, etc.
- the condition of a camp, post, station, etc., with reference to cleanliness.
verb (used with object), po·liced, po·lic·ing.
Origin of police
- 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
- 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
Word Origin for police
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.