plain·​clothes·​man | \ ˈplān-ˈklō(t͟h)z-mən How to pronounce plainclothesman (audio) , -ˌman \

Definition of plainclothesman

: a plainclothes police officer

Examples of plainclothesman in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Less than a month later, plainclothesmen arrested Nassar at a local tire store, and Munford took him into custody. Jason Schmidt, Glamour, "The Army of Women Who Took Down Larry Nassar," 30 Oct. 2018 Hustling bucks and ducking the Third Division boys, those earnest young plainclothesmen assigned to the vice squad who work out of the 17th Precinct on the East Side. Gail Sheehy, Daily Intelligencer, "Wide Open City/Part II: Redpants and Sugarman," 9 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'plainclothesman.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of plainclothesman

1899, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about plainclothesman

Time Traveler for plainclothesman

Time Traveler

The first known use of plainclothesman was in 1899

See more words from the same year

Statistics for plainclothesman

Cite this Entry

“Plainclothesman.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for plainclothesman


How to pronounce plainclothesman (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of plainclothesman

: a police officer who does not wear a uniform while on duty

More from Merriam-Webster on plainclothesman

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for plainclothesman

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with plainclothesman

Comments on plainclothesman

What made you want to look up plainclothesman? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

February 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of probity?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!