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patrol Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun a detachment used for security or reconnaissance
  2. noun the activity of going around or through an area at regular intervals for security purposes
  3. noun a group that goes through a region at regular intervals for the purpose of security
  4. verb maintain the security of by carrying out a patrol

Pa*trol" intransitive verb
F. patrouiller, O. & Prov. F. patrouiller to paddle, paw about, patrol, fr. patte a paw; cf. D. poot paw, G. pfote, and E. pat, v.
imperfect & past participle Patrolled ; present participle & verbal noun Patrolling
  1. To go the rounds along a chain of sentinels; to traverse a police district or beat.
Pa*trol" verb
  1. t To go the rounds of, as a sentry, guard, or policeman; as, to patrol a frontier; to patrol a beat.
Pa*trol" noun
F. patrouille, OF. patouille. See Patrol, v. i.
  1. (Mil.) (a) A going of the rounds along the chain of sentinels and between the posts, by a guard, usually consisting of three or four men, to insure greater security from attacks on the outposts. (b) A movement, by a small body of troops beyond the line of outposts, to explore the country and gain intelligence of the enemy's whereabouts. (c) The guard or men who go the rounds for observation; a detachment whose duty it is to patrol.
  2. Any perambulation of a particular line or district to guard it; also, the men thus guarding; as, a customs patrol; a fire patrol.
    In France there is an army of patrols to secure her fiscal regulations. A. Hamilton.

Webster 1913