Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A group of civilians called upon by a sheriff or other law enforcement official to assist temporarily in preserving the peace or pursuing and arresting a fugitive.
  • noun A search party.
  • noun A gang involved in crimes such as running guns and illegal narcotics trafficking.
  • noun Slang A group of friends or associates.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Possibility.
  • noun A sheriff's posse comitatus (see below); in general, a body or squad of men.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun See posse comitatus.
  • noun See In posse in the Vocabulary.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun US A group of people summoned to help law enforcement
  • noun US A search party
  • noun US, Jamaica A criminal gang
  • noun by extension A group of associates

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a temporary police force

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Short for posse comitatus.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Medieval Latin posse comitatus.

Examples

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