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

Along with the deteriorating economy and political instability, overall security in Haiti has been shaken by increasing gang violence, and the Haitian police force’s inability to control large swathes of poor neighborhoods around the capital. Edith M. Lederer, The Seattle Times, "UN votes to end peacekeeping operations in Haiti on Oct. 15," 12 Apr. 2019 Neither are the heavily militarized police force, or the technological idea of predictive policing based on flawed technology. Tasha Robinson, The Verge, "10 subversive, dark American futures to stream on July 4th," 4 July 2018 Indeed, a row of golden retriever puppies, tucked into neon green bags and carried by the country's national police force canine unit, became a highlight of the parade. Paulina Dedaj, Fox News, "Chile military parade offers a showcase for ... puppies?," 20 Sep. 2018 The prosecution maintains that the pair were detained during a routine patrol, but the reporters have told their family that they were invited to dinner by members of the police force, where they were handed the documents before being arrested. Oliver Slow / Yangon, Time, "Judge Rules That Two Reuters Journalists Detained in Myanmar Will Stand Trial," 9 July 2018 Nearly 60,000 Salvadorans, double the police force, are gang members. Omar Villafranca, CBS News, "Treacherous journey to U.S. a last resort for some fleeing violence in El Salvador," 20 June 2018 Deri had been doing military service in the border police, a hybrid military unit under the auspices of the national police force, responsible for keeping order. Washington Post, BostonGlobe.com, "After a killing, an Israeli soldier and an Arab family confront justice," 16 June 2018 Moments later police forced Marrow to the ground and appear to put him in a chokehold. Felice León, The Root, "Watch: Police Slam Former NFL Player Desmond Marrow," 28 Apr. 2018 There have been brainstorming sessions about the police force. Scott Gold, latimes.com, "Harry Anderson: Bringing magic to the Big Easy," 17 Apr. 2018

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

28 Apr 2019

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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

Comments on police force

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


to speak slightingly about or to degrade

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