Definition of the thin blue line in US English:

the thin blue line

phrase

informal
  • Used to refer to the police, typically in the context of situations of civil unrest.

    • ‘Look at the tough new border controls and the co-ordination of European police forces manning the thin blue line against the horde.’
    • ‘People living in rural areas need to take precautions and taking care also helps the police - the thin blue line in the countryside.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Her description of the thin blue line that stands between the public and chaos looks different from the one portrayed on television.’
    • ‘Every weekend, a group of twenty-somethings turn their backs on Swindon's clubs, pubs and bars to help boost the thin blue line.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Ex-policemen across Bury are being asked to strengthen the thin blue line.’
    • ‘The repainted patrol cars and bright yellow jackets may seem gimmicky to those who favour the traditional image of 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.’