police power

the power of a nation, within the limits of its constitution, to regulate the conduct of its citizens in the interest of the common good.

1820–30, Americanism

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Example sentences
Long-standing cultural tradition exercises its own police power.
Zoning of building heights near an airport is a proper exercise of the police
The power of the state to protect the public's health is derived from the
  police power.
He argues, in effect, that the power of eminent domain and the police power are
  not mutually exclusive.
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