1

police

verb po·lice \ pə-ˈlēs \

Definition of police

policed; policing
transitive verb
1 archaic :govern
2 :to control, regulate, or keep in order by use of police
3 :to make clean and put in order
4 a :to supervise the operation, execution, or administration of to prevent or detect and prosecute violations of rules and regulations
b :to exercise such supervision over the policies and activities of
5 :to perform the functions of a police force in or over

Examples of police in a Sentence

  1. The officers police the streets for reckless drivers.

  2. The coast is policed by the military.

  3. The international agency polices the development of atomic energy facilities.

Recent Examples of police from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of police

in sense 1, from Middle French policier, from police conduct of public affairs; in other senses, from 2police


2

police

noun, often attributive

Definition of police

plural police
1 a :the internal organization or regulation of a political unit through exercise of governmental powers especially with respect to general comfort, health, morals, safety, or prosperity
b :control and regulation of affairs affecting the general order and welfare of any unit or area
c :the system of laws for effecting such control
2 a :the department of government concerned primarily with maintenance of public order, safety, and health and enforcement of laws and possessing executive, judicial, and legislative powers
b :the department of government charged with prevention, detection, and prosecution of public nuisances and crimes
b plural :police officers
4 a :a private organization resembling a police force
  • campus police
b plural :the members of a private police organization
5 a :the action or process of cleaning and putting in order
b :military personnel detailed to perform this function
6 :one attempting to regulate or censor a specified field or activity
  • the fashion police

Examples of police in a Sentence

  1. Police arrested a man whom they identified as the murderer.

  2. the appearance of a ransom note meant that the teenager's disappearance was now a matter for the police

Recent Examples of police from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of police

French, from Old French, from Late Latin politia government, administration, from Greek politeia, from politēs citizen, from polis city, state; akin to Sanskrit pur rampart, Lithuanian pilis castle

police Synonyms

Synonyms
law
Related Words
judiciary, jurisprudence, justice


POLICE Defined for English Language Learners

police

verb

Definition of police for English Language Learners

  • : to control and keep order in (an area) by the use of police or military forces

  • : to control (something) by making sure that rules and regulations are being followed


police

noun

Definition of police for English Language Learners

  • : the people or the department of people who enforce laws, investigate crimes, and make arrests


POLICE Defined for Kids

1

police

verb po·lice \ pə-ˈlēs \

Definition of police for Students

policed; policing
:to keep order in or among
  • Officers police the city.

2

police

noun

Definition of police for Students

plural police
1 :the department of government that keeps order and enforces law, investigates crimes, and makes arrests
2 police plural :members of a police force

Word Root of police

The Greek word polis, meaning “city” or “community,” and the related word polītēs, meaning “citizen,” give us the roots polis and polit. Words from Greek polis and polītēs have something to do with cities or communities or the citizens who live in them. A metropolis is the most important city in an area. The police are a group that enforces the law so as to protect citizens. Politics is the science and art of governing citizens.


Law Dictionary

1

police

transitive verb po·lice

legal Definition of police

policed; policing
:to control, regulate, or keep in order especially as an official duty
  • police the area

2

police

noun

legal Definition of police

plural police
1 :the control and regulation of affairs affecting the order and welfare of a political unit and its citizens
2 a :the department of a government or other institution that maintains order and safety and enforces laws
c plural :the members of a police force


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