AskDefine | Define constabulary

Dictionary Definition

constabulary n : the force of policemen and officers; "the law came looking for him" [syn: police, police force, law]

User Contributed Dictionary



From mediaeval Latin conestabularia, a noun use of the feminine version of conestabularius, from constabulus, from comes stabuli, literally ‘master of the stables’.




  1. Of, or relating to constables.
  2. Characteristic to police; police-like (as opposed to military)
    Constabulary missions are different from fighting wars.



  1. A police force.
  2. The police in a particular district or area.

Usage notes

Constabulary is a collective noun and usually has no plural. Only when describing groups of constabularies is it used in the plural sense. For example, the constabularies of England and Wales form part of the constabulary of the United Kingdom.


police force

Extensive Definition

Constabulary may have several definitions.
A partial list of constabulary around the world:


See also

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Cheka, FBI, Gestapo, Interpol, MP, MVD, Mounties, NKVD, OGPU, RCMP, SP, Scotland Yard, bailiwick, bureau, commissariat, constablery, constablewick, county police, department, highway patrol, law enforcement agency, military police, ministry, municipality, office, police, police force, political police, posse, provincial police, riot police, secret police, secretariat, security force, sheriffalty, sheriffwick, shore patrol, shrievalty, special police, state police, tactical police, troopers, vigilance committee, vigilantes
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