police force


Definition of police force 

: a body of trained officers entrusted by a government with maintenance of public peace and order, enforcement of laws, and prevention and detection of crime

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Synonyms for police force


constabulary, finest, force, fuzz, heat [slang], man, police

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Examples of police force in a Sentence

He joined the local police force. mobilized practically the entire police force to track down the escaped criminal

Recent Examples on the Web

There's already a robust network of local police forces using the technology, not to mention a for-profit industry undergirding its use. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "That Radar Speed Road Sign Might Be Saving Your License Plate for Later," 1 Oct. 2018 Fahd Ghazy was also 17 years old when 9/11 happened, and when he was picked up by local police forces in Pakistan at a time when the U.S. military reportedly paid cash rewards to people for turning over anyone who seemed out of place. Aliya Hana Hussain, Teen Vogue, "9/11’s Anniversary Means 17 Years Since the Guantánamo Prison Opened," 11 Sep. 2018 Just to be clear, the entire police force was built up, black and Hispanics men, except one out of the 11 police officers happen to be white. Fox News, "The unhinged left," 8 Aug. 2018 The association hosting the conference represents more than 4,000 school police officers, most of whom are armed, sworn cops in a local police force who are posted at schools. Alexia Fernández Campbell, Vox, "I went to a huge conference on school safety. No one wanted to talk about gun control.," 30 July 2018 From the perspective of someone like Misty Knight (Simone Missick), recently promoted within the police force? Josh Wigler, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Luke Cage' Star on Season 2's Cliffhanger: "I Was Extremely Surprised"," 26 June 2018 Clashes also broke out between officers from Guardia Civil and those from Catalonia’s local police force, Mossos. Michelle Iracheta, Houston Chronicle, "Conroe ISD breaks ground on 2 new campuses, closer to finishing $487 million bond referendum," 18 May 2018 The Putnam Congregational Church, which held it, was host to members of the State Police and local police forces, firefighters, business leaders, students, and senior citizens. Denise Coffey, Courant Community, "Steve Bousquet Memorial Golf Tournament Will Fund Area Scholarships," 10 Apr. 2018 In addition to their close military ties, representatives from these companies fraternized with industry executives and local police forces. Longreads, "How Lobbyists Normalized the Use of Chemical Weapons on American Civilians," 24 Nov. 2014

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

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First Known Use of police force

1820, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for police force

Last Updated

8 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for police force

The first known use of police force was in 1820

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More Definitions for police force

police force


English Language Learners Definition of police force

: the police organization in a particular area

police force


Legal Definition of police force 

: a body of trained officers entrusted by a government with maintenance of public peace and order, enforcement of laws, and prevention and detection of crime

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More from Merriam-Webster on police force

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for police force

Spanish Central: Translation of police force

Britannica English: Translation of police force for Arabic Speakers

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