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

The escalating use of force, frequent salvos of tear gas in residential neighborhoods and mass arrests—announced at 1,183 Wednesday—have contributed to hardening resentments against a police force that previously enjoyed widespread public trust. Time, "Hong Kong Leader Formally Withdraws the Extradition Bill That Sparked Weeks of Unrest," 4 Sep. 2019 Our first responders, emergency teams, police force, public health, addiction treatment, and children’s services providers, and many more are responding to the opioid epidemic every day. Eric Heisig, cleveland.com, "Armond Budish, other Cuyahoga County officials rip into Ohio AG Dave Yost’s latest legal move to gain control in opioid litigation," 30 Aug. 2019 Two weeks into filming, Chinese secret-police forces called Zaodi to ask about her daughter’s whereabouts. Han Zhang, The New Yorker, "In “One Child Nation,” Nanfu Wang Confronts China’s History, and Her Own," 27 Aug. 2019 The police forced him out but didn’t press charges. Gustavo Solis, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Remain in Mexico: Tijuana rent scams target asylum seekers," 26 Aug. 2019 Rio's elite police force, known as BOPE, handled negotiations with the kidnapper. Elizabeth Lawrence, USA TODAY, "Man armed with gun, knife, gasoline can takes bus hostage in Brazil," 20 Aug. 2019 Prosecutor Morales Gallen adds that 50 individuals already have been sentenced and that proceedings against five government officials—including a customs officer, a member of the police force, and a senior CONAP security official—began in April. Carlos Duarte, National Geographic, "The fight to protect the world’s most trafficked wild commodity," 16 Aug. 2019 The police force’s restrained response fueled suspicions that the attacks were sanctioned by pro-Chinese forces in the Hong Kong government to send a message to demonstrators. Riley Beggin, Vox, "Hong Kong protests continue for a 10th week in face of Beijing’s threats," 11 Aug. 2019 In an interview at City Hall with The Oregonian/OregonLive, the pair, who collectively lead Portland’s police force, voiced their toughest stance yet against people using the cloak of free speech as a pretext to brawl on city streets. oregonlive.com, "Portland mayor and chief warn protest instigators: Expect stern police response," 6 Aug. 2019

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

15 Sep 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 spread over or through

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