Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


1. The act of moving about an area especially by an authorized and trained person or group, for purposes of observation, inspection, or security.
2. A person or group of persons who perform such an act.
a. A military unit sent out on a reconnaissance or combat mission.
b. One or more military vehicles, boats, ships, or aircraft assigned to guard or reconnoiter a given area.
4. A division of a Boy Scout troop or Girl Scout troop consisting of between six and eight children.
v. pa·trolled, pa·trol·ling, pa·trols
To engage in a patrol of.
To engage in a patrol.

[French patrouille, from patrouiller, to patrol, alteration of Old French patouiller, to paddle about in mud, patrol, probably from pate, paw; see patois.]

pa·trol′ler n.
References in classic literature ?
Some considerating touch of humanity was in him; for at times like these, he usually abstained from patrolling the quarter-deck; because to his wearied mates, seeking repose within six inches of his ivory heel, such would have been the reverberating crack and din of that bony step, that their dreams would have been of the crunching teeth of sharks.
RAWALPINDI, October 28, 2010 (Frontier Star): 4 criminals has been arrested along with weapons and drug by patrolling police in separate operation, under the special instructions of SP patrolling Shahidia Kasur here on Thursday.
This increase in dismounted patrolling is part of a new effort to improve the security situation and counter the insurgency, but dismounted patrolling is not new to the Infantry.
But the board also asked officials from Metrolink and the county to look into getting more cooperation from other counties in patrolling the system.
Border Patrol agents have of late found themselves being prevented from patrolling beyond 50 yards of the border.
These groups of white ranchers and other sympathetic nativists believe that the federal government is coming up short in its efforts to crack down on undocumented migrants, and they are determined to take on the responsibility of patrolling the borders themselves.