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 While in prison, he was tortured, of course — this is routine in police states — and he was also made to work. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, 13 June 2024 Nor does the police state want citizens prepared to exercise those rights. Nisha Whitehead, Orange County Register, 22 May 2024 These lessons in compliance, while expected, are what comes of challenging the police state. Nisha Whitehead, Orange County Register, 22 May 2024 Otherwise, publics across Latin America will continue to surrender their constitutional rights in exchange for authoritarian police states that maintain order. Gustavo Flores-Macías, Foreign Affairs, 20 Mar. 2024 See all Example Sentences for police state 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'police state.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1851, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of police state was in 1851

Dictionary Entries Near police state

Cite this Entry

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

Kids Definition

police state

: a state in which the activities of the people are under the power of the government often acting through a secret police force
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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