- Police is defined as members of law enforcement, or people vested with the power to make or enforce rules in a certain area or on a certain topic.
- The cops who gives you a speeding ticket or arrest murderers are an example of police.
- People who are judgmental about fashion and make fun of those who don't comply with the current styles are an example of the fashion police.
- Police means to enforce the rules, or to enforce law and order.
When you patrol an area to make sure that the laws are being followed, this is an example of when you police the area.
- Archaic the regulation within a community of morals, safety, sanitation, etc.; public order; law enforcement
- the governmental department (of a city, state, etc.) organized for keeping order, enforcing the law, and preventing, detecting, and prosecuting crimes
- a governmental force, or body of persons, established and maintained for keeping order, etc.
- a private organization like this: security police at a college
- the members of any such force
- Informal those who act as self-appointed guardians of morality, propriety, style, etc.: usually somewhat disparaging: the fashion police, the language police
- ☆ U.S. Army
- the work or duty of keeping a camp, post, etc. clean and orderly
- the soldiers charged with such duty: kitchen police
Origin: Fr from Late Latin politia, administration of the commonwealth (in L, the state) from Glassical Greek politeia, the state, citizenship from politēs, citizen from polis, city from Indo-European an unverified form pel-, fortress (from source Sanskrit pūr, town), origin, originally , filled wall, special use of base an unverified form pel-, to flow, fill from source full
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
noun pl. police
- The governmental department charged with the regulation and control of the affairs of a community, now chiefly the department established to maintain order, enforce the law, and prevent and detect crime.
- a. A body of persons making up such a department, trained in methods of law enforcement and crime prevention and detection and authorized to maintain the peace, safety, and order of the community.b. A body of persons having similar organization and function: campus police. Also called police force.
- (used with a pl. verb) Police officers considered as a group.
- Regulation and control of the affairs of a community, especially with respect to maintenance of order, law, health, morals, safety, and other matters affecting the public welfare.
- Informal A group that admonishes, cautions, or reminds: grammar police; fashion police.
- a. The cleaning of a military base or other military area: Police of the barracks must be completed before inspection.b. The soldiers assigned to a specified maintenance duty.
- To regulate, control, or keep in order with or as if with a law enforcement agency.
- To make (a military area, for example) neat in appearance: policed the barracks.
Origin: French, from Old French policie, civil organization, from Late Latin polītīa, from Latin, the State, from Greek polīteia, from polītēs, citizen, from polis, city; see pelə-3 in Indo-European roots.
- po·liceˈa·ble adjective
- po·licˈer noun