police power


: the inherent power of a government to exercise reasonable control over persons and property within its jurisdiction in the interest of the general security, health, safety, morals, and welfare except where legally prohibited

Word History

First Known Use

1821, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of police power was in 1821

Dictionary Entries Near police power

Cite this Entry

“Police power.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/police%20power. Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

Legal Definition

police power

see power sense 2a

More from Merriam-Webster on police power

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