from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The inherent authority of a government to impose restrictions on private rights for the sake of public welfare, order, and security.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • (Law) The inherent power of a government to regulate its police affairs.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun law The inherent power, incident to sovereignty, of a state to regulate and exercise reasonable control over matters of public health, public morals, public safety, and in general, all things relating to the general welfare.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word police power.


    Sorry, no example sentences found.


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.