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From mediaeval Latin conestabularia, a noun use of the feminine version of conestabularius, from Latin constabulus, from comes stabuli, literally ‘master of the stables’.


  • IPA(key): /kənˈstæbjʊləɹi/


constabulary (not comparable)

  1. Of, or relating to constables.
  2. Characteristic to police; police-like (as opposed to military)
    Constabulary missions are different from fighting wars.



constabulary (countable and uncountable, plural constabularies)

  1. A police force.
  2. The police in a particular district or area.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 22, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      Not unnaturally, “Auntie” took this communication in bad part. [] Next day she [] tried to recover her ward by the hair of the head. Then, thwarted, the wretched creature went to the police for help; she was versed in the law, and had perhaps spared no pains to keep on good terms with the local constabulary.

Usage notes[edit]

Constabulary is a collective noun and usually has no plural. Only when describing groups of constabularies is it used in the plural sense. For example, the constabularies of England and Wales form part of the constabulary of the United Kingdom.