See also: Police, poliçe, and policé

EnglishEdit

 
English Wikipedia has articles on:
Wikipedia

EtymologyEdit

From Middle French police, from Latin polītīa (state, government), from Ancient Greek πολιτεία (politeía). Doublet of policy and polity.

PronunciationEdit

 
English Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia

NounEdit

police pl (normally plural, singular police)

  1. A public agency charged with enforcing laws and maintaining public order, usually being granted special privileges to do so, particularly [from 18th c.]
    • 1943, Charles Reith, British Police and the Democratic Ideal, pp. 3–4:
      There are nine Principles of Police:
      ...
      7 To maintain at all times a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and that the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen, in the interests of community welfare and existence.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 18, in The China Governess[1]:
      ‘Then the father has a great fight with his terrible conscience,’ said Munday with granite seriousness. ‘Should he make a row with the police [] ? Or should he say nothing about it and condone brutality for fear of appearing in the newspapers?
    • 1990 Sept. 13, David Black & al., "Prescription for Death", Law & Order, 00:00:01:
      In the criminal justice system, the People are represented by two separate yet equally important groups: the police, who investigate crime, and the district attorneys, who prosecute the offenders.
    • 2008, BioWare, Mass Effect, Redwood City: Electronic Arts, →ISBN, OCLC 246633669, PC, scene: Citadel Station: Citadel Security Services (C-Sec) Codex entry:
      Citadel Security is a volunteer police service answering to the Citadel Council. The 200,000 constables of C-Sec are responsible for maintaining public order in the densely populated Citadel.
    Call the police!
    1. (Canada, US and historical) A department of local (usually municipal) government responsible for general law enforcement.
      The Cook County Sheriff's Department has jurisdiction across most of Chicago but focuses on the unincorporated area and tasks like prisoner transport, leaving the rest to the Chicago Police Department.
    2. (UK) A branch of the Home Office responsible for general law enforcement within a specific territory.
      Scotland Yard is, technically speaking, only the metropolitan police for Greater London but because of their importance they have special jurisdiction for some crimes across the United Kingdom.
    3. (Australia, New Zealand) Any of the formally enacted law enforcement agencies at various levels of government.
  2. (usually plural only) The staff of such a department or agency, particularly its officers; (regional, chiefly US, Caribbean, Jamaica, Scotland, countable) an individual police officer. [from 19th c.]
    • 2006 Sept. 17, David Mills, "Soft Eyes", The Wire, 00:06:50:
      Pearlman: Very clever, Lester. You got it all figured, huh?
      Freamon: Me? I'm just a police.
    • 2006, David Simon, Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets[2], →ISBN, page 440:
      This time it is the worst kind of call a murder police can get.
  3. (figuratively, usually ironic and mildly derogatory) People who try to enforce norms or standards as if granted authority similar to the police.
    Who called the fashion police?
    • 2010, Mary Beard, It's a Don's Life, →ISBN, page 147:
      Then there were the taste police, who thought that this bulky modern machine was an inappropriate intrusion []
    • 2016 February 5, “How the circumflex became France's bête noire”, in The Guardian[3]:
      A major drama has broken out in France after the local language police decreed one of their cute little accents to be largely redundant
  4. (military, slang) Cleanup of a military facility, as a formal duty.
    • 1907, Hearings Before the Committee on Military Affairs, United States Senate, concerning the Affray at Brownsville, Tex. on the Night of August 13 and 14, 1906 (volume 2)
      Q. [] What did you do that day? — A. I was cleaning up around quarters.
      Q. You had been on guard and went on police duty? You were policing, cleaning up around the barracks? — A. Yes, sir.
  5. (archaic, now rare) Synonym of administration, the regulation of a community or society. [from 17th c.]
    • 2002, Colin Jones, The Greta Nation, Penguin 2003, page 218:
      The notion of ‘police’ – that is, rational administration – was seen as a historical force which could bring civilized improvement to societies.
  6. (obsolete) Alternative form of policy. [15th-19th c.]
  7. (obsolete) Alternative form of polity, civilization, a regulated community. [16th-19th c.]

Usage notesEdit

In North America and the UK, local police are generally distinguished from regional, national, and specialized law enforcement officers such as sheriffs, marshals, bailiffs, FBI special agents, and NCA investigators. In Australia and New Zealand and in translation of the law enforcement agencies of other countries, police may refer indiscriminately to law enforcement agencies and officers at any level.

SynonymsEdit

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

VerbEdit

police (third-person singular simple present polices, present participle policing, simple past and past participle policed)

  1. (transitive) To enforce the law and keep order among (a group).
    Extra security was hired to police the crowd at the big game.
    • 2012 May 24, Nathan Rabin, “Film: Reviews: Men In Black 3”, in The Onion AV Club:
      Smith returns in Men In Black 3 as a veteran agent of a secret organization dedicated to policing the earth’s many extraterrestrials.
    • 2013 August 10, Schumpeter, “Cronies and capitols”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8848:
      Policing the relationship between government and business in a free society is difficult. Businesspeople have every right to lobby governments, and civil servants to take jobs in the private sector. Governments have to find the best people to fill important jobs: there is a limited supply of people who understand the financial system, for example.
    • 2021 July 28, Paul Clifton, “Network News: Confusion and dissent over face mask requirements: Reaction to the Guidance: Train operators”, in RAIL, number 936, page 7:
      Train operators were reluctant to speak to RAIL on the record, but one responded: "The unions are rightly very clear that they don't want staff policing face coverings after the removal of legal backing.
  2. (transitive, intransitive, military, slang) To clean up an area.
    • 1900, Association of Military Surgeons of the United States, Proceedings of the eighth annual meeting
      This comes to him through the company housekeeping, for in the field each organization takes care of itself, cooks its own food, makes its own beds, does its own policing (cleaning up); []
    • 1907, Hearings Before the Committee on Military Affairs, United States Senate, concerning the Affray at Brownsville, Tex. on the Night of August 13 and 14, 1906 (volume 2)
      Q. [] What did you do that day? — A. I was cleaning up around quarters.
      Q. You had been on guard and went on police duty? You were policing, cleaning up around the barracks? — A. Yes, sir.
    • 1986, Oliver Stone, Platoon (film script)
      ELIAS: Police up your extra ammo and frags, don't leave nothing for the dinks.
    • 2006, Robert B. Parker, Hundred-Dollar Baby, Putnam, →ISBN, page 275,
      "Fire off several rounds in a residential building and stop to police the brass?"
  3. (transitive, figuratively) To enforce norms or standards upon.
    to police a person's identity

Derived termsEdit

AnagramsEdit


CzechEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Old Czech policě, from Proto-Slavic *polica.

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

police f

  1. shelf (a structure)

DeclensionEdit

Derived termsEdit

Further readingEdit

  • police in Příruční slovník jazyka českého, 1935–1957
  • police in Slovník spisovného jazyka českého, 1960–1971, 1989

DanishEdit

EtymologyEdit

Via Middle French police and Italian polizza from Ancient Greek ἀπόδειξις (apódeixis, proof).

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

police c (singular definite policen, plural indefinite policer)

  1. policy (an insurance contract)

InflectionEdit


FrenchEdit

PronunciationEdit

Etymology 1Edit

From Late Latin polītīa (state, government), from Ancient Greek πολιτεία (politeía).

NounEdit

police f (plural polices)

  1. police
    Coordinate terms: gendarmerie, sûreté
    Fuyez, la police arrive !Run, the police are coming!
  2. (Quebec, colloquial) cop (police officer)
    Synonyms: flic, gendarme, keuf, policier
Derived termsEdit
DescendantsEdit
  • Amharic: ፖሊስ (polis)
Related termsEdit

Etymology 2Edit

Borrowed from Italian polizza.

NounEdit

police f (plural polices)

  1. (insurance) policy
    police d'assuranceinsurance policy
  2. (typography) fount, font
    police de caractèresfont family
    police d'écrituretypeface
Derived termsEdit
DescendantsEdit

Etymology 3Edit

See the etymology of the corresponding lemma form.

VerbEdit

police

  1. inflection of policer:
    1. first/third-person singular present indicative/subjunctive
    2. second-person singular imperative

AnagramsEdit

Further readingEdit


Middle FrenchEdit

EtymologyEdit

Borrowed from Latin politia.

NounEdit

police f (plural polices)

  1. governance; management
    • 1577, Jean d'Ogerolles, Discours sur la contagion de peste qui a esté ceste presente annee en la ville de Lyon, front cover
      contenant les causes d'icelle, l'ordre, moyen et police tenue pour en purger, nettoyer et delivrer la ville (subheading)
      containing the causes, the order, means and management employed to purge, clean and deliver the city

Related termsEdit


NormanEdit

EtymologyEdit

Borrowed from Latin politia.

NounEdit

police f (uncountable)

  1. (Jersey) police

Serbo-CroatianEdit

NounEdit

police

  1. inflection of polica:
    1. genitive singular
    2. nominative/accusative/vocative plural

SlovakEdit

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

police

  1. nominative plural of polica