po·​lice·​man | \ pə-ˈlēs-mən How to pronounce policeman (audio) \

Definition of policeman

1 : a member of a police force
2 : one held to resemble a policeman making the United States the policeman for the whole wide world— R. B. Long

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Synonyms for policeman


bobby [British], bull [slang], constable [chiefly British], cop, copper, flatfoot [slang], fuzz, gendarme, lawman, officer, police officer, shamus [slang]

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Examples of policeman in a Sentence

reported the crime to the nearest policeman

Recent Examples on the Web

The tough-talking president has often cited the killings and wounding of many policemen in anti-narcotics raids as proof of the fatal risks that prompt law enforcers to open fire on drug suspects. Jim Gomez, Fox News, "Catholic priest says life in danger for criticizing Duterte," 27 Aug. 2018 Army soldiers and policemen attend the scene where more than 20 people were killed in their homes in an overnight attack in the Ruhagarika community of the rural northwestern province of Cibitoke, in Burundi Saturday, May 12, 2018. Washington Post, "26 people killed in Burundi ‘terrorist’ attack: Official," 14 May 2018 At least 11 Afghan soldiers and policemen were killed a day earlier, the latest in a particularly deadly week of assaults by militants in the country. Fox News, "Afghan Taliban announces start of annual spring offensive," 26 Apr. 2018 In April 2017, gunmen attacked security forces stationed near the famed St. Catherine's Monastery in Egypt's south Sinai, killing one policeman. Menna Zaki, Fox News, "Egypt Coptic Church stops accepting monks after bishop death," 3 Aug. 2018 Third, is both the biggest danger and the hardest to assess: Lower valuations due to unquantifiable risks created by the possibility that the U.S. is withdrawing from its role as world policeman. James Mackintosh, WSJ, "My Lessons From the Market’s Wild December," 27 Dec. 2018 Continually during the Trump administration, America’s foreign policy is trying to roll back the U.S.’ role as a global policeman. Frank Miles, Fox News, "US plays down talk of imminent pullout of forces from Syria," 6 Sep. 2018 Also on Sunday, Mr. Netanyahu quickly pushed through a bill to increase the salaries of policemen and prison guards by cutting funds from all government ministries. Dov Lieber, WSJ, "Netanyahu’s Coalition in Turmoil as He Rejects Partner’s Demand," 18 Nov. 2018 But it was quickly followed by an even bigger case in California, the blockbuster arrest this week of a former policeman whom California authorities accused of being the serial rapist and murderer known as the Golden State Killer. NBC News, "Familial DNA puts elusive killers behind bars. But only 12 states use it.," 28 Apr. 2018

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

1788, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for policeman

Last Updated

12 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for policeman

The first known use of policeman was in 1788

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English Language Learners Definition of policeman

: a man who is a police officer


po·​lice·​man | \ pə-ˈlēs-mən How to pronounce policeman (audio) \
plural policemen\ -​mən \

Kids Definition of policeman

: a man who is a police officer


po·​lice·​man | \ pə-ˈlēs-mən How to pronounce policeman (audio) \
plural policemen\ -​mən How to pronounce policemen (audio) \

Medical Definition of policeman

: an instrument (as a flat piece of rubber on a glass rod) for removing solids from a vessel (as a beaker)

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Comments on policeman

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


grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

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