Definition of posse
1 : a large group often with a common interest
2 : a body of persons summoned by a sheriff to assist in preserving the public peace usually in an emergency
3 : a group of people temporarily organized to make a search (as for a lost child)
4 : entourage 1
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Examples of posse in a sentence
The sheriff and his posse rode out to look for the bandits.
I went to the game with my posse.
Did You Know?
Posse started out as a technical term in law, part of the term "posse comitatus," which in Medieval Latin meant power or authority of the county. As such, it referred to a group of citizens summoned by a sheriff to preserve the public peace as allowed for by law. "Preserving the public peace" so often meant hunting down a supposed criminal that "posse" eventually came to mean any group organized to make a search or embark on a mission. In even broader use it can refer to any group, period. Sometimes nowadays that group is a gang or a rock band but it can as easily be any group - of politicians, models, architects, tourists, children, or what have you - acting in concert.
Origin and Etymology of posse
Medieval Latin posse comitatus, literally, power or authority of the county
First Known Use: 1645
POSSE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of posse for English Language Learners
: a group of people who were gathered together by a sheriff in the past to help search for a criminal
: a group of people who are together for a particular purpose
: a group of friends
POSSE Defined for Kids
Definition of posse for Students
: a group of people gathered together to make a search and especially in the past to search for a criminal
Seen and Heard
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