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

Censorship and police powers remained strong, but China’s people still found more freedom. Paul Mozur, New York Times, "Inside China’s Dystopian Dreams: A.I., Shame and Lots of Cameras," 8 July 2018 In a perfect world, police powers would be applied with no regard for political tribe or ideology. Kevin D. Williamson, WSJ, "The Unjust Prosecution of a Black Militia Kook," 6 July 2018 The deputy does remain on leave without police powers so the public is in no danger. Jeff Mcdonald, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Two more claims filed in sheriff's sexual misconduct investigation, bringing total to 13 women," 8 Jan. 2018 Schuhmann has been put on desk duty with his police powers suspended pending the completion of an internal investigation, though the police have declined to detail the nature of that inquiry. Phillip M. Bailey, The Courier-Journal, "Council President says Explorer Scout report to be released Wednesday," 24 June 2018 In stark red and black canvases that employ figures distorted by violence, the Los Angeles artist tackles issues of police power and the darker chapters of U.S. history. Carolina A. Miranda, latimes.com, "Datebook: Shots of old Route 66, dreamlike paintings and garments fashioned from paper," 12 July 2018 The officers are on administrative reassignment and their police powers have been suspended while the department's Public Integrity Unit investigates the case. Thomas Novelly, The Courier-Journal, "There have been four police shootings in Louisville this month. That's as many as 2017," 26 Apr. 2018 Hansen, who had been relieved of police powers and assigned to paid desk duty while under investigation since last August, declined to answer a reporter’s questions on the record Tuesday. Jeremy Gorner, chicagotribune.com, "Chicago cop facing possible firing over offensive Facebook posts abruptly retires," 5 June 2018 Eric Haglund said that Dillon was placed on administrative suspension and that his gun, badge and police powers were taken away. Christine Dempsey, courant.com, "Trooper On Desk Duty After Arrest, State Police Say," 7 June 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.

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First Known Use of police power

1821, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

15 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for police power

The first known use of police power was in 1821

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More Definitions for police power

police power

Legal Definition of police power 

see power sense 2a

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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 reject or criticize sharply

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