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Meaning of POSSE COMITATUS

 
WordNet Dictionary
 
 Definition: 
[n]  a temporary police force
 
 Synonyms: posse
 
 See Also: constabulary, law, police, police force, posseman

 

 

Webster's 1913 Dictionary
 
 Definition: 
\Pos"se com`i*ta"tus\ [L. posse to be able, to
have power + LL. comitatus a county, from comes, comitis, a
count. See {County}, and {Power}.]
1. (Law) The power of the county, or the citizens who may be
   summoned by the sheriff to assist the authorities in
   suppressing a riot, or executing any legal precept which
   is forcibly opposed. --Blackstone.

2. A collection of people; a throng; a rabble. [Colloq.]

Note: The word comitatus is often omitted, and posse alone
      used. ``A whole posse of enthusiasts.'' --Carlyle.

            As if the passion that rules were the sheriff of
            the place, and came off with all the posse.
                                               --Locke.

 

 

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