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patrol

[puh-trohl] /pəˈtroʊl/
verb (used without object), patrolled, patrolling.
1.
(of a police officer, soldier, etc.) to pass along a road, beat, etc., or around or through a specified area in order to maintain order and security.
verb (used with object), patrolled, patrolling.
2.
to maintain the order and security of (a road, beat, area, etc.) by passing along or through it.
noun
3.
a person or group of persons assigned to patrol an area, road, etc.
4.
an automobile, ship, plane, squadron, fleet, etc., assigned to patrol an area.
5.
Military. a detachment of two or more persons, often a squad or platoon, detailed for reconnaissance or combat.
6.
the act of patrolling.
8.
(in the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts) a subdivision of a troop, usually consisting of about eight members.
Origin
1655-1665
1655-65; < French patrouille (noun), patrouiller (v.) patrol, originally a pawing (noun), to paw (v.) in mud; derivative (with suffixal -ouille) of patte paw; -r- unexplained
Related forms
patroller, noun
repatrol, verb (used with object), repatrolled, repatrolling.
unpatrolled, adjective
well-patrolled, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for patrol
  • To quicken their watchfulness he promised rewards to the coast-guard patrol.
  • They patrol residential districts and guard public buildings.
  • Today, heavily armed police stand at the favela's entrance, while others patrol its narrow alleys and steep steps.
  • Border patrol agents are a far cry from fingerprint experts.
  • The plan was for the fighter jets to patrol the box from sunset to sunrise.
  • If a commanding officer thinks the software is correct, he'll send a patrol ahead of time to catch the criminal red-handed.
  • It could be automatically downloaded to the highway patrol.
  • When the highway patrol came knocking, he refused to speak to them for three straight days.
  • When they went out on patrol at night, they faked it.
  • The savings in patrol costs alone paid for the equipment within a few months.
British Dictionary definitions for patrol

patrol

/pəˈtrəʊl/
noun
1.
the action of going through or around a town, neighbourhood, etc, at regular intervals for purposes of security or observation
2.
a person or group that carries out such an action
3.
a military detachment with the mission of security, gathering information, or combat with enemy forces
4.
a division of a troop of Scouts or Guides
verb -trols, -trolling, -trolled
5.
to engage in a patrol of (a place)
Derived Forms
patroller, noun
Word Origin
C17: from French patrouiller, from patouiller to flounder in mud, from patte paw
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for patrol
n.

1660s, "action of going the rounds" (of a military camp, etc.), from French patrouille "a night watch" (1530s), from patrouiller "go the rounds to watch or guard," originally "tramp through the mud," probably soldiers' slang, from Old French patouiller "paddle in water," probably from pate "paw, foot" (see patten). Compare paddlefoot, World War II U.S. Army slang for "infantry soldier." Meaning "those who go on a patrol" is from 1660s. Sense of "detachment of soldiers sent out to scout the countryside, the enemy, etc." is attested from 1702.

v.

1690s, from patrol (n.) and in part from French patrouiller. Related: Patrolled; patrolling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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