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Definitions of Police

  1. (noun) A State sponsored institution, tasked with preventing or investigating crime, and maintaining public order.
  2. (verb) To maintain law and order.

Police Pronunciation

  • IPA Pronunciation
    • American English
      • /pəˈlis/
    • British English
      • /pᵿˈliːs/
      • /pliːs/
  • Syllabification: (po·lice)

Usage Note

Related Quotation

  • “[S]ingling out members of a race or ethnic group for heightened police surveillance—is a way to act on the assumption that whole categories of people are dangerous” (Rosenblum and Travis 2012:199).

Additional Information

Related Terms


Rosenblum, Karen Elaine, and Toni-Michelle Travis. 2012. The Meaning of Difference: American Constructions of Race, Sex and Gender, Social Class, Sexual Orientation, and Disability. 6th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Works Consulted

Carrabine, Eamonn, Pam Cox, Maggy Lee, Ken Plummer, and Nigel South. 2009. Criminology: A Sociological Introduction. 2nd ed. London: Routledge.

Griffiths, Heather, Nathan Keirns, Eric Strayer, Susan Cody-Rydzewski, Gail Scaramuzzo, Tommy Sadler, Sally Vyain, Jeff Bry, Faye Jones. 2016. Introduction to Sociology 2e. Houston, TX: OpenStax.

Oxford University Press. (N.d.) Oxford Dictionaries. (https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/).

Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation. (https://en.wikipedia.org/).

Cite the Definition of Police

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “police.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved October 16, 2019 (https://sociologydictionary.org/police/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

police. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/police/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “police.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed October 16, 2019. https://sociologydictionary.org/police/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“police.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 16 Oct. 2019. <https://sociologydictionary.org/police/>.