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n., v. -liced, -lic•ing. n.
1. an organized civil force for maintaining order, preventing and detecting crime, and enforcing the laws.
2. (used with a pl. v.) members of such a force.
3. the regulation and control of a community, esp. for the maintenance of public order, safety, morals, health, etc.
4. the department of a government concerned with this, esp. with the maintenance of order.
5. any body of people employed to keep order, enforce regulations, etc.
6. people who seek to regulate a specified behavior, activity, practice, etc.: the language police.
a. the cleaning and keeping clean of a military camp, post, etc.
b. the cleanliness of a camp, post, etc.
8. to regulate, control, or keep in order by or as if by means of police.
9. to clean and keep clean (a military camp, post, etc.).
[1520–30; < Middle French: government, civil administration, police < Late Latin polītia citizenship, government, for Latin polītīa; see polity]
pron: Many English words exemplify the original stress rule of Old English and other early Germanic languages, according to which all parts of speech were stressed on the first syllable, except for prefixed verbs, which were stressed on the syllable immediately following the prefix. Although loanwords that exhibit other stress patterns have since been incorporated into English, the older stress pattern remains operative to some degree. For South Midland and Midland U.S. speakers in particular, shifting the stress in borrowed nouns to the first syllable is still an active process, yielding (ˈpoʊ lis) for police and (ˈdi trɔɪt) for Detroit, as well as cement, cigar, guitar, insurance, umbrella, and idea said as (ˈsi mɛnt) (ˈsi gɑr) (ˈgɪt ɑr) (ˈɪn ʃʊər əns) (ˈʌm brɛl ə) and (ˈaɪ diə)
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|Noun||1.||police force - the force of policemen and officers; "the law came looking for him"|
personnel, force - group of people willing to obey orders; "a public force is necessary to give security to the rights of citizens"
European Law Enforcement Organisation, Europol - police organization for the European Union; aims to improve effectiveness and cooperation among European police forces
Mutawa, Mutawa'een - religious police in Saudi Arabia whose duty is to ensure strict adherence to established codes of conduct; offenders may be detained indefinitely; foreigners are not excluded
New Scotland Yard, Scotland Yard - the detective department of the metropolitan police force of London
secret police - a police force that operates in secrecy (usually against persons suspected of treason or sedition)
Schutzstaffel, SS - special police force in Nazi Germany founded as a personal bodyguard for Adolf Hitler in 1925; the SS administered the concentration camps
law enforcement agency - an agency responsible for insuring obedience to the laws