Definition of the thin blue line in English:

the thin blue line

phrase

informal
  • Used to refer to the police, typically in the context of maintaining order during unrest.

    ‘the thin blue line holds the frontier between chaos and civilian life, between crime and the American dream’
    • ‘People living in rural areas need to take precautions and taking care also helps the police - the thin blue line in the countryside.’
    • ‘Every weekend, a group of twenty-somethings turn their backs on Swindon's clubs, pubs and bars to help boost the thin blue line.’
    • ‘But the thin blue line will be stretched thinner than ever - at least 2,000 officers will cover the main rally in July, more than one in eight of all the officers in Scotland.’
    • ‘The repainted patrol cars and bright yellow jackets may seem gimmicky to those who favour the traditional image of the thin blue line.’
    • ‘His self-assurance, generated by his exalted status within the department, is complete; it's what guides him during his regular sorties across the thin blue line, from order into chaos and back again.’
    • ‘Ex-policemen across Bury are being asked to strengthen the thin blue line.’
    • ‘Look at the tough new border controls and the co-ordination of European police forces manning the thin blue line against the horde.’
    • ‘Her description of the thin blue line that stands between the public and chaos looks different from the one portrayed on television.’
    • ‘Once the thin blue line defending a society's fundamental values, the police have now grotesquely turned into a weapon against them.’
    • ‘Jack, who retired last Friday from Leigh's community policing team, has been treading the thin blue line since 1974.’