un policed


Also called police force. an organized civil force for maintaining order, preventing and detecting crime, and enforcing the laws.
(used with a plural verb) members of such a force: Several police are patrolling the neighborhood.
the regulation and control of a community, especially for the maintenance of public order, safety, health, morals, etc.
the department of the government concerned with this, especially with the maintenance of order.
any body of people officially maintained or employed to keep order, enforce regulations, etc.
people who seek to regulate a specified activity, practice, etc.: the language police.
the cleaning and keeping clean of a camp, post, station, etc.
the condition of a camp, post, station, etc., with reference to cleanliness.
verb (used with object), policed, policing.
to regulate, control, or keep in order by or as if by means of police.
Military. to clean and keep clean (a camp, post, etc.)

1520–30; < Middle French: government, civil administration, police < Late Latin polītia citizenship, government, for Latin polītīa; see polity

overpolice, verb (used with object), overpoliced, overpolicing.
prepolice, adjective
self-policing, adjective
unpoliced, adjective
well-policed, adjective

Many English words exemplify the original stress rule of Old English and other early Germanic languages, according to which all parts of speech except unprefixed verbs were stressed on the first syllable, and prefixed verbs were stressed on the syllable immediately following the prefix. Although the scope of this rule has been greatly restricted by the incorporation into English of loanwords that exhibit other stress patterns, the rule has always remained operative to some degree, and many loanwords have been conformed to it throughout the history of English. For South Midland and Midland U.S. speakers in particular, shifting the stress in borrowed nouns from a noninitial syllable to the first syllable is still an active process, yielding [poh-lees] for police and [dee-troit] for Detroit, as well as cement, cigar, guitar, insurance, umbrella, and idea said as [see-ment] [see-gahr] [git-ahr] [in-shoor-uhns] [uhm-brel-uh] and [ahy-deeuh].
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
police (pəˈliːs)
1.  a.  the police the organized civil force of a state, concerned with maintenance of law and order, the detection and prevention of crime, etc
 b.  (as modifier): a police inquiry
2.  (functioning as plural) the members of such a force collectively
3.  any organized body with a similar function: security police
4.  archaic
 a.  the regulation and control of a community, esp in regard to the enforcement of law, the prevention of crime, etc
 b.  the department of government concerned with this
5.  to regulate, control, or keep in order by means of a police or similar force
6.  to observe or record the activity or enforcement of: a committee was set up to police the new agreement on picketing
7.  (US) to make or keep (a military camp, etc) clean and orderly
[C16: via French from Latin polītīa administration, government; see polity]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1530, at first essentially the same word as policy (1); from M.Fr. police (1477), from L. politia "civil administration," from Gk. polis "city" (see policy (1)). Still used in Eng. for "civil administration" until mid-19c.; application to "administration
of public order" (1716) is from Fr., and originally referred to France or other foreign nations. The first force so-named in Eng. was the Marine Police, set up 1798 to protect merchandise at the Port of London. The verb "to keep order by means of police" is from 1841; policeman is from 1829. Police state "state regulated by means of national police" first recorded 1865, with ref. to Austria.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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