police power


Definition of 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

Examples of police power in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Caplette has been assigned to home and relieved of his police powers pending the investigation’s outcome, the spokesman said. Alex Wigglesworth, latimes.com, "LAPD detective accused of secretly recording men in Angel Stadium restroom," 5 July 2019 Briarwood Presbyterian had been pushing for police powers for several years, citing security concerns at its church and schools off Acton Road at Interstate 459 and Briarwood Christian School on Cahaba Valley Road. Leada Gore | Lgore@al.com, al.com, "Ivey signs law allowing Briarwood church, school, Madison Academy to form police forces," 20 June 2019 Nor does the holding in Roe v. Wade follow, because there the police power may very well be protecting the rights of unborn children. WSJ, "Correcting the Record on Judicial Activism," 9 July 2018 Though tightly controlled Singapore recently boosted police powers and has increased scrutiny of social-media misuse, the business-friendly country is promoting itself as a data-center venue: safe, predictable and with reliable infrastructure. Jake Maxwell Watts, WSJ, "Facebook, Under Rising Scrutiny, Picks Singapore for First Asia Data Center," 6 Sep. 2018 If the feds drop charges, states can still vindicate their police powers. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "A Supreme Court Gamble," 5 Dec. 2018 Private interests are leveraging the police powers of the state to pursue their political agenda, while a government official is letting private interests appear to influence enforcement decisions. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "State AGs for Rent," 6 Nov. 2018 They are reasonably related to the police powers of municipalities. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "FCC sides with Google Fiber over Comcast with new pro-competition rule," 2 Aug. 2018 But some critics worry that police powers are being awarded to officers who aren’t properly trained or regulated. Talia Richman, baltimoresun.com, "A 'special police officer' shot a Baltimore man. What is that?," 11 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'police power.' 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 power

1821, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about police power

Statistics for police power

Last Updated

9 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for police power

The first known use of police power was in 1821

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for police power

police power

Legal Definition of police power

see power sense 2a

More from Merriam-Webster on police power

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with police power

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about police power

Comments on police power

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


to form ideas or theories about something

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


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!