Definition of plain clothes in English:

plain clothes

plural noun

  • Ordinary clothes rather than uniform, especially when worn by police officers.

    as modifier ‘plain-clothes detectives’
    • ‘He was arrested some time ago by a constable in plain clothes for using obscene language and dumped at Central Police Station.’
    • ‘They would wear plain clothes over their uniforms going to and from work.’
    • ‘The strike is continuing and police in plain clothes continue to roam the estate.’
    • ‘The men are in plain clothes and wear light raincoats or light overcoats over their uniforms.’
    • ‘The tactic of having the police in plain clothes near campuses has also paid dividends in catching eve-teasers.’
    • ‘They were a ragtag bunch, dressed in all variety of military uniforms, some in plain clothes.’
    • ‘After two years as a probationer he was seconded to the Vice Squad to work under cover in plain clothes, but two years was as much as he could take.’
    • ‘An off duty police officer, who was in plain clothes, and arrived on the scene at the same time as him, asked him to hold on to the man while he found out what was going on.’
    • ‘Two were in police uniforms while the others wore plain clothes and they ran towards the women from the steps of the Underground station.’
    • ‘Undercover inspectors in plain clothes ride around the Metrolink routes and challenge passengers to prove they have a ticket.’
    • ‘They must patrol in plain clothes to arrest those anti-social elements who indulge in eve-teasing.’
    • ‘He was chased by three to five policemen in plain clothes.’
    • ‘There are at least a dozen of them, dressed in plain clothes, I was told, to avoid, alarming visitors.’
    • ‘We wore plain clothes rather than uniform and slept in them, including our shoes, for weeks on end.’
    • ‘Councillors have suggested that police consider patrolling the village during the evening in plain clothes and that private CCTV be installed.’
    • ‘Some of that misunderstanding may have arisen innocently, if for example a witness saw a man leaping the barrier without realising that he was in fact a police officer in plain clothes.’
    • ‘The policeman was in plain clothes and chewing gum.’
    • ‘The state police officers, armed and in plain clothes, have questioned dozens of voters in their homes.’
    • ‘When it became clear that Stockwell tube was his possible destination, a team of armed police officers in plain clothes were alerted.’
    • ‘Officials are dressing in plain clothes and patrolling with a dog to blend in with other pet-walkers in the parks.’

Pronunciation

plain clothes

/ˌpleɪn ˈkləʊðz/