Definition of posse in English:



  • 1A body of men, typically armed, summoned by a sheriff to enforce the law.

    • ‘In colonial America, policing relied on community consensus and citizens' service as constables and in sheriffs' posses.’
    • ‘The station looked deserted, but it wouldn't be for long once the news reached Alpha Station, and where in the galaxies were the sheriff and his posse?’
    • ‘Well, before he became the name of a Montreal suburb, in 1660, Dollard rounded up a posse of 16 volunteers to ambush an Iroquois attack on what became Montreal.’
    • ‘Sheriffs' posses were sent from the mainland with arrest warrants, but Strang, with the help of his lieutenants, evaded capture by skirting the island's shores in a ramshackle boat.’
    • ‘His wound was inflicted by a sheriff's posse pursuing him for an assault upon a farmer's wife.’
    • ‘He had killed two sheriffs and fought off many posses.’
    team, company, unit, party, working party, gang, shift, line-up, squad, force, corps, posse
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    1. 1.1British The body of men in a county whom the sheriff could summon to enforce the law.
      • ‘The Senate added language to account for constitutional authority to use the Army as a posse comitatus, or otherwise, to execute the laws.’
      • ‘Prior to the emergence of the police, ordinary citizens would bring what arms they had in response to a ‘hue and cry’ or when serving on a posse comitatus.’
      group, crowd, body, party, band, collection, assembly, assemblage, cluster, flock, herd, horde, troupe, swarm, stream, mob, throng, congregation, gathering, meeting, convention
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    2. 1.2informal A group of people who have a common characteristic, occupation, or purpose.
      ‘he pompously led around a posse of medical students’
      • ‘He's surrounded by a posse of eager reporters who are trying to interview him with the help of an interpreter while the sound of Puccini blasts out from every corner of the room.’
      • ‘Everywhere he stepped either side of a gentle curtain raiser, a posse of well-wishers shadowed him, grabbing an autograph here, a picture there and a precious chat wherever possible.’
      • ‘The island is neat and well tended by a posse of gardeners - where Young Island is so profuse, Mustique is sparser and drier.’
      • ‘Look, if you've got a posse of restless toddlers at home and just want to shut 'em up for 90 minutes, then by all means, bring them to see this movie.’
      • ‘The instrument, his long-term comedy partner, was still around for support but he also introduced a posse of new characters and comedy situations.’
      • ‘Early on a December morning in 1998, a posse of policemen knocked on the door of his country cottage, issued a warrant for his arrest, and spent eight hours searching his property.’
      • ‘Amid a frenzy of handshakes, nostalgic ‘what could have been’ looks and a posse of camera crews, the Conservative leader yesterday returned to a hero's welcome in Blackpool.’
      • ‘When she returned from the championships, she was met at the airport by a posse of reporters asking her about drugs and steroids.’
      • ‘Rumours swirled around about a posse of policemen, acting on complaints from residents of the surrounding high-rise buildings, who had picked him up that morning.’
      • ‘He has charisma, a fabulous new line of hipster clothing, a reality-TV show in development, and a posse of hot young actors swooning over his righteous aura.’
      • ‘London was the height of hip, with a posse of hot young designers blazing a path through the jaded fashion pack and spawning the ‘Cool Britannia’ era.’
      • ‘Thus they reluctantly join forces with a posse of vampires, who refer to themselves collectively as the Blood Gang, for some vampire hunting in the dark streets and sewers of Prague.’
      • ‘The fugitive, who broke out from a supposedly secure area, tried to ram patrol cars, managed to out-run Gardaí and a posse of local people, was eventually shot.’
      • ‘Last night was John's work do - a posse of computer genius guys and girls, packed around a long table at their local.’
      • ‘He sat in silence through the shareholders’ meeting, and was escorted to and from it by a posse of bodyguards.’
      • ‘To this end he created a posse of brilliantly realised characters, each complete with their own distinctive voices, personalities and catchphrases.’
      • ‘That pretty much launched the TV careers of a posse of legal analysts.’
      • ‘At 1.30 am a posse of musicians with their sound system arrived, and parked themselves in the six-foot square space empty next to me.’
      • ‘Seemingly all the pre-match focus was on the striker, as a posse of photographers lurking in the press room testified.’
      • ‘The Sabbath was reserved for Sunday tea - usually in the presence of a posse of relatives, called in by postcard from the tram-rocking outer suburbs.’
      set, group, band, circle, company, fraternity, clique, coterie
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    3. 1.3informal A group of people who socialize together, especially to go to clubs or raves.
      • ‘Your faithful friends might feel replaced if you gush about your awesome new posse.’
      • ‘On the front was a sepia-toned photo of Jennings, his band, and a battered posse of cronies gathered around a bar.’
      • ‘No-neck goons in black turtlenecks and lumpy suit jackets are fine if you want to hit a dance club with a posse, but they are not effective for executives.’
      • ‘Rather than sulking and feeling totally threatened by your pal's posse, share her excitement about her newfound friendships.’
      • ‘Across the room a posse of young men, fresh from a football match, amused themselves by downing pints of lager in rapid succession and groping any woman who passed by.’
      • ‘My children, looking gruesome, go off with their posse and gather armfuls of treats.’
      • ‘On my right sat a posse of possible ‘Millies’, bored teenagers who would rather be otherwise engaged.’
      • ‘They where all kisses and hugs until the rest of the posse that had gathered just outside the door came in.’
      • ‘You were always leading that ridiculous posse of yours in high school.’
      • ‘My hard work is paying off as each Thursday my posse of party people gets bigger and bigger.’
      • ‘There is only one place to skate where I live and none of my posse drives yet.’
      • ‘On our final night, after taking everyone out to dinner, he invited the whole posse to a big fashion-style party downtown.’
      • ‘People are going to be particularly drawn to you, so you're bound to make a whole new posse of pals.’
      • ‘A couple of girls in Jessica's posse strolled by and scowled at me.’
      • ‘‘You know this is my room’ I pushed the door open to reveal all of Jake's posse in there.’
      group, gang, troop, troupe, party, company, band, body, crowd, pack, army, herd, flock, bevy, drove, horde, galaxy, assemblage, gathering
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Mid 17th century: from medieval Latin, literally power from Latin posse be able.