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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 ?
The uniformed 'new' staff at toll plazas worked in multiple rows for a week or so before reverting to the previous practice of a single row being manned by a plainclothesman staff leading to long queues.
When they notice Landsman's car, with its reek of plainclothesman hubris and its inflammatory double-S on the grille, they leave off yelling at one another and give Landsman the Bessarabian fish-eye.
Intruder in the Dust's ready appropriation of the detective genre also anticipated the new age of television, which invested heavily in detective stories and police procedurals like Dragnet (1951-59), The Plainclothesman (1949-54), and many others.
All of a sudden, a plainclothesman accosted me and surreptitiously flashed a battered identity card signaling he was a "policeman".
Wallace hosted "The Mike Wallace Interview" on New York's then independent Channel 13 and grilled a young CCNY student, Donald Swerdlow, who was assaulted and falsely arrested by Daniel Meehan, a Transit Authority plainclothesman.
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).