American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The inherent authority of a government to impose restrictions on private rights for the sake of public welfare, order, and security.
- n. law The inherent power, incident to sovereignty, of a state to regulate and exercise reasonable control over matters of public health, public morals, public safety, and in general, all things relating to the general welfare.
GNU Webster's 1913
- (Law) The inherent power of a government to regulate its police affairs.
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