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

  • n. A police force operating largely in secret and often using terror tactics to suppress dissent and political opposition.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A police force operating in secrecy and outside the normal boundaries of law, usually in support of a totalitarian government to suppress political dissent.

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

  • n. a police force that operates in secrecy (usually against persons suspected of treason or sedition)


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Paolo Telesio communicates with you by mail, using this address, and those communications are intercepted by the secret police and inspected before they are delivered to you, and you and Telesio, knowing that, have occasionally taken advantage of it.

    The Black Mountain

  • In the days of Soviet power the Grin had beamed upon the land of the secret police with benevolence.

    Jacob's Ladder

  • What he provides the AVO is a sociological and psychological profile of a world as foreign to the nasty, brutish, paranoid universe of the secret police as life on Mars.

    Enemies of the People

  • "Tsaw an," he said in Mandarin dialect — How are you? — glad to talk to Wei-wei's uncle, General Jen Tang-wa, deputy chief of the illegal Kuomintang secret police for Hong Kong.

    Noble House

  • The old secret police technique — and you can't beat it: get them at their sleepiest and most apprehensive and you're already half-way there.

    The Satan Bug

  • From Günter Grass to Milan Kundera, secret police files from the Gestapo to the KGB continue to disgorge the debris of half a century of such betrayals.

    Enemies of the People

  • Prince and Princess Aribert of Anhalt, the latter being a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, Prince and Princess Albert of Saxe-Altenburg, and last, but not least, Baron von Tausch, the chief of the secret police attached to the particular service of the emperor.

    The Secret Memoirs of the Courts of Europe

  • Madame and Mademoiselle Cerf-Berr had hardly re-entered the hotel where they were staying, when an officer of the secret police came and requested them to accompany him.

    Recollections of the private life of Napoleon

  • “In the event that he shirks from [being a good Hungarian],” the secret police colonel noted, “we can always rely on [the name is blacked out] to put pressure on him.”

    Enemies of the People

  • Now, jammed between two blue-uniformed, sullen secret police agents, he could not even think of escape.

    Enemies of the People


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  • "In 1950 the American republic was quietly retired and its place taken by the National Security State, set up secretly and outlined in a document not to be made public for twenty-five years, the National Security Council Memorandum 68. War and Navy Departments were combined into a single 'Defense' Department while the CIA, an unconstitutional secret police, was invented. The NSC-68 established the imperial blueprint that governed the world until the recent crack-up of the Soviet Union, which happened not as a result of our tactics of ongoing wars, and an arms race that they could not afford, but was due to the internal fragility of an artificial state which was, in a sense, a crude mirror of our own, now falling apart, as well, through debt and internal ethnic wars."
    — Gore Vidal, 'Truman', The Independent Magazine, 3 October 1992.

    February 17, 2009