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plain clothes

clothing other than one's uniform, especially civilian clothes worn on duty by a police officer.
Also, plainclothes.
Origin of plain clothes
Related forms
plain-clothes, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for plain clothes
  • Two officers were sent out each night to patrol the streets in plain clothes.
  • There is scarcely anywhere that you can not fittingly go in plain clothes.
  • The wearing of plain clothes became a fashion as well as a virtue.
  • Dere was a whole army of plain clothes bulls around.
  • Checkpoints proliferate, manned by armed personnel in plain clothes.
  • Officers skilled in behavior detection work in uniform and plain clothes anywhere in the airport.
  • The team wears plain clothes and uses an unmarked car.
  • Investigative positions with plain clothes police officers require experience of four years.
  • These directed patrols will include plain clothes officers on foot in and around areas of student housing.
  • If the illegal purchase of alcohol took place, a plain clothes officer watching the transaction would intervene.
British Dictionary definitions for plain clothes

plain clothes

plural noun
  1. ordinary clothes, as distinguished from uniform, as worn by a police detective on duty
  2. (as modifier): a plain-clothes policeman
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 plain clothes

"ordinary dress" (as opposed to military uniform), 1822; of police detectives, it is attested from 1842. Also plainclothes.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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