posse comitatus love

posse comitatus


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

  • (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.
  • colloq. A collection of people; a throng; a rabble.

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

  • noun historical The able-bodied men over 15 in a given county who can be summoned by the sheriff to help keep the peace, or arrest a felon; also a group of men so gathered.
  • noun figuratively Any band of men, especially armed or hostile.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a temporary police force


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Medieval Latin posse comitātūs : Medieval Latin posse, power, body of men (from Latin, to be able; see potent) + comitātūs, genitive of comitātus, county, territory of a count; see county.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Late Latin posse ("to be able (to have)") comitatus ("a company").


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  • "The body of persons that a peace officer of a county is empowered to call upon for assistance in preserving the peace, making arrests, and serving writs."

    March 16, 2008

  • From Latin... "force of the county"

    October 11, 2008

  • Compare possum comitatus.

    July 5, 2021