a body or force armed with legal authority.

1575–85; < Medieval Latin posse power, force, noun use of L infinitive: to be able, have power, equivalent to pot- (see potent) + -se infinitive suffix

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World English Dictionary
posse (ˈpɒsɪ)
1.  (US) Also called: posse comitatus the able-bodied men of a district assembled together and forming a group upon whom the sheriff may call for assistance in maintaining law and order
2.  law possibility (esp in the phrase in posse)
3.  slang a Jamaican street gang in the US
4.  informal a group of friends or associates
[C16: from Medieval Latin (n): power, strength, from Latin (vb): to be able, have power]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1645 (in Anglo-L. from 1314), shortening of posse comitatus "the force of the country" (1626, in Anglo-L. from 1285), from M.L. posse "body of men, power," from L. posse "have power, be able" + comitatus "of the country," gen. of L.L. word for "court palace." Modern slang meaning "small gang" is probably
from Western movies.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Meanwhile, a posse of petrels and albatrosses keep swooping past my head.
The salvagers claim the posse wanted to extract money because the barge was in
  their waters.
The power is in the surprising effects that come from receiving thousands of
  pings from your posse.
It's possible that several months without new episodes to power the pony posse
  will cause the buzz to die down.
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