police officer


Definition of police officer

: a member of a police force

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for police officer


bobby [British], bull [slang], constable [chiefly British], cop, copper, flatfoot [slang], fuzz, gendarme, lawman, officer, policeman, shamus [slang]

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of police officer in a Sentence

there were police officers directing traffic around the scene of the accident

Recent Examples on the Web

Stevante is the 25-year-old brother of Stephon Clark, the 22-year-old who was shot to death by Sacramento police officers while standing in his grandmother’s backyard on March 18, 2018. Lincoln Anthony Blades, Teen Vogue, "Stevante Clark is Running for Mayor of Sacramento," 3 Jan. 2019 The pair were investigating the deaths of 10 Rohingya Muslim men and boys in a village in Myanmar’s Rakhine state when they were detained by plainclothes police officers. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Time’s 2018 Person of the Year is Jamal Khashoggi and other “Guardians” of the truth," 11 Dec. 2018 The caravan was met at the border by about 100 Guatemalan police officers. Fox News, "Honduran migrant caravan crosses Guatemala border, US-bound," 15 Oct. 2018 The article incorrectly said the names on the flag were of people fatally wounded by police officers. WSJ, "Corrections & Amplifications," 20 Sep. 2018 On Wednesday, a Jewish university professor from Baltimore was first attacked by a 20-year old — and then beaten up by police officers who apparently assumed the 50-year-old professor was the attacker. Rick Noack, Washington Post, "A Baltimore professor was the victim of an anti-Semitic attack and then German police punched him," 13 July 2018 The majority of those killed by Georgia police officers in 2017 and 2018 had drugs in their system, including cocaine, meth and marijuana, according to the GBI. Alexis Stevens, ajc, "EXCLUSIVE: Majority of those killed by Georgia officers tested positive for drugs," 9 July 2018 Of the 315 people barred from the Bay Area’s backbone transit system last year, 209 were identified by police officers as black, according to BART data. Ted Andersen, SFChronicle.com, "Two-thirds of people banned from BART are black — and agency isn’t asking why," 6 July 2018 Rudder, a Trinidadian Calypso recording artist, wrote the the song in response to an attack on Haitian immigrant Abner Louima by New York police officers. Justino Aguila, Billboard, "Gaby Moreno & Van Dyke Parks' 'Immigrants' Cover Raises Funds, Awareness: Listen," 3 July 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of police officer

1797, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about police officer

Share police officer

Statistics for police officer

Last Updated

18 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for police officer

The first known use of police officer was in 1797

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for police officer

police officer


English Language Learners Definition of police officer

: a person whose job is to enforce laws, investigate crimes, and make arrests : a member of the police

police officer


Kids Definition of police officer

: a member of a police force

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on police officer

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for police officer

Spanish Central: Translation of police officer

Nglish: Translation of police officer for Spanish Speakers

Comments on police officer

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


a servile follower or underling

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


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!