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or plain·clothes man  (plān′klōz′mən, -klōthz′-)
A member of a police force, especially a detective, who wears civilian clothes on duty.


n, pl -men
(Law) old-fashioned a policeman who wears ordinary clothes when working, rather than a uniform


(ˈpleɪnˈkloʊz mən, -ˌmæn, -ˈkloʊðz-)

also plain′clothes′ man`,

n., pl. -men (-mən, -ˌmɛn)
a police officer, esp. a detective, who wears civilian clothes while on duty.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.plainclothesman - a detective who wears civilian clothes on duty
detective, police detective, tec, investigator - a police officer who investigates crimes
References in periodicals archive ?
All of a sudden, a plainclothesman accosted me and surreptitiously flashed a battered identity card signaling he was a "policeman".
Included in the new shows are Dumont Network Shows such as Original Amateur Hour, Ellery Queen, Hold That Camera, The Plainclothesman, Down You Go, Boxing From St.
Then and now, he reasoned, a suit wouldn't put him in any less danger than a uniform once the shooting started, and as a plainclothesman he prefers to carry a full-size service pistol.
The movie is basically the tale of two young cops, one Costigan, a misfit who failed to graduate from the police academy; the other a cocky, near-perfect plainclothesman, Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon).