police state


Definition of police state 

: a political unit characterized by repressive governmental control of political, economic, and social life usually by an arbitrary exercise of power by police and especially secret police in place of regular operation of administrative and judicial organs of the government according to publicly known legal procedures

Examples of police state in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The driver of the vehicle stayed at the scene, police stated. Shannon S. Hall, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville police: 1 person dead after crash on Broadway and 2nd," 30 June 2018 The men then beat up the victim and fled in his dark grey 2011 Chevy Traverse with partial license #AGE, police stated. Wilborn P. Nobles Iii, NOLA.com, "Woman punched, robbed in Lower Garden District Saturday: NOPD," 15 Apr. 2018 Police tried to keep the boy alive until the Rialto Fire Department arrived, but those efforts were ultimately unsuccessful, police stated. Stephen Tucker Paulsen, Houston Chronicle, "Father of dead Texas boy arrested on homicide and child abuse charges," 28 June 2018 A year earlier, top Nazi officials considered the Madagascar Plan: forcibly relocating Europe’s Jews to the African island, which would be run as a police state by the Nazi SS. Margaret Hartmann, Daily Intelligencer, "Jeff Sessions Defends Family Separation With False Claim About Nazis’ Treatment of Jews," 19 June 2018 Fraser was located in Palatine and transported back to Wilmette, police stated. Kathy Routliffe, chicagotribune.com, "A Wilmette resident lost $150,000 in lottery scam over the course of 5 months, police say," 8 June 2018 Scott allegedly discovered her son in the back seat at about 1 p.m. and took him to Howard Memorial Hospital in Willits, police stated. Alexia Fernandez, PEOPLE.com, "Calif. Toddler Dies After Mom Leaves Him in Car for 10 Hours While She 'Socialized': Police," 23 June 2018 And because the report from the Frisco police stated that Williams appeared to be under the influence of alcohol, his future with the team is uncertain. Peter Dawson, star-telegram, "If Terrance Williams gets cut, who could the Cowboys add at wide receiver?," 6 June 2018 Under an authoritarian government such as China’s, digital monitoring is turning a nasty police state into a terrifying, all-knowing one. The Economist, "Does China’s digital police state have echoes in the West?," 31 May 2018

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

1851, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

9 Aug 2018

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Time Traveler for police state

The first known use of police state was in 1851

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More Definitions for police state

police state


English Language Learners Definition of police state

: a country in which the activities of the people are strictly controlled by the government with the help of a police force

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