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 North Korean leader is considered by international monitors to be among the world's worst human rights abusers, running a deeply repressive police state that controls almost every aspect of public and private life. NBC News, 16 June 2021 Their reign turned Tarhuna into a police state with echoes of the Qaddafis’ own: Six brothers put their stamp on everything and terrorized their people, all in the name of revolution. New York Times, 30 July 2021 Does Major League Baseball wish to continue its collaboration with this racist and repressive police state? WSJ, 18 Apr. 2021 In the scene where Loki resentfully accepts his ticket, framed posters on the walls bear graphic eyes that represent an all-seeing police state, and cheerfully menacing slogans: BEHAVE OR GET YOUR CLOCK CLEANED. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, 12 June 2021 For the first time in Communist Cuba, protesters expressed their anger against the repression and the police state. Santiago Pérez, WSJ, 14 July 2021 The United Kingdom is a decrepit police state: the government hunts down refugees, imprisons migrants in cages, seals off borders. NBC News, 4 July 2021 After police put down spike strips, the truck crashed in Wood Village at about 1 a.m., police state. oregonlive, 22 May 2021 The Oath Keepers movement, which recruits heavily among military veterans, was founded in 2009 by a Yale Law School graduate and former Army paratrooper who believed only armed militias could keep the United States from becoming a police state. Washington Post, 20 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for police state

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The first known use of police state was in 1851

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Dictionary Entries Near police state

police science

police state

police station

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Statistics for police state

Last Updated

23 Aug 2021

Cite this Entry

“Police state.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/police%20state. Accessed 19 Sep. 2021.

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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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