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Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From French patrouille, from Old French patrouille, patouille (a night-watch, literally a tramping about), from patrouiller, patouiller, patoiller (to paddle or pudder in water, dabble with the feet, begrime, besmear), from patte, pate (paw, foot of an animal), from Vulgar Latin *patta (paw, foot), from Frankish *patta (paw, sole of the foot), from Proto-Germanic *paþjaną, *paþōną (to walk, tread, go, step, pace), possibly from Proto-Indo-European *(s)pent-, *(s)pat- (path; to walk), a variant of Proto-Indo-European *pent-, *pat- (path; to go); see find. Cognate with Dutch pad, patte (paw), Low German pedden (to step, tread), German patschen (to splash, smack, dabble, waddle), German Patsche (a swatter, beater, paw, puddle, mire). Related to pad, path.


patrol (countable and uncountable, plural patrols)

  1. (military) 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.
    Four members of the squadron were on patrol.
    • 1899, Louis Becke, Walter Jeffery, Admiral Phillip, Chapter 7:
      The watch consisted of twelve convicts—men selected for their good behaviour. Immediately after tattoo had beat they began their patrol. 'No complaint was ever made of them,' remarks Phillip, and they were expressly cautioned to avoid disputes with soldiers or seamen ( many of whom were as great thieves as the convicts themselves).
  2. (military) 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.
  3. (military) The guards who go the rounds for observation; a detachment whose duty it is to patrol.
    • 1919, Eddie Rickenbacker, “Chapter 7”, in Fighting the Flying Circus:
      After cordial good-bye to our hospitable hostess we motored back to Chaumont where we dined with Colonel Mitchell; and then with another long drive we finally reached home tired but happy at 3.30 in the morning. There staring me in the face was an order directing me to lead my patrol over the lines in the morning at five o'clock, sharp! An hour and a half sleep for an utterly worn out aviator!
  4. (law enforcement) The largest division of officers within a police department or sheriff's office, whose assignment is to patrol and respond to calls for service.
  5. Any perambulation of a particular line or district to guard it; also, the people thus guarding.
    a customs patrol
    a fire patrol
    • 1787-1788, Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers
      In France there is an army of patrols [] to secure her fiscal regulations.
    • 2013 August 24, “Boots on the street”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8850:
      Philadelphia’s foot-patrol strategy was developed after a study in 2009 by criminologists from Temple University, which is in the 22nd district. A randomised trial overturned the conventional view that foot patrols make locals like the police more and fear crime less, but do not actually reduce crime. In targeted areas, violent crime decreased by 23%.
  6. (scouting) A unit of a troop, usually defined by certain ranks or age groups within the troop, and ideally comprised of six to eight members.
    • 1913, anonymous author, Boy Scouts and What They Do/Object of Scouting:
      On a makeshift bed in the corner was an old woman looking very sick. Then a patrol of "Missioner" Scouts appeared on the scene: one seized a broom and swept out the room; the next made up the fire with some fuel he had procured and made her a cup of tea; another mended the rickety table, bed and chair, making them at any rate serviceable, while a fourth straightened out the bedclothes, propped the old lady up, and did his best to cheer her until the tea was ready.
    • 1920, Lord Baden-Powell of Gilwell, Aids To Scoutmastership[1], page 24:
      The formation of the boys into Patrols of from six to eight and training them as separate units each under its own responsible leader is the key to a good Troop.
Derived terms[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Etymology 2[edit]

From French patrouiller, from Old French patrouiller (to paddle, paw about, patrol), from patte (a paw).


patrol (third-person singular simple present patrols, present participle patrolling, simple past and past participle patrolled)

  1. (intransitive) To go the rounds along a chain of sentinels; to traverse a police district or beat.
  2. (transitive) To go the rounds of, as a sentry, guard, or policeman
    to patrol a frontier
    to patrol a beat
    • 1950 March, H. A. Vallance, “On Foot Across the Forth Bridge”, in Railway Magazine, page 149:
      Watchmen are stationed continuously at each end of the bridge, and the main spans are patrolled twice during the night.
    • April 8 1997, Bill Clinton, Proclamation 6983
      Whether attempting to keep the peace in Bosnia, evacuating American citizens from Albania, or patrolling the world's seas and skies, our service men and women risk capture by unfriendly foreign forces.
Derived terms[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Further reading[edit]



Polish Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia pl


Borrowed from French patrouille, from Middle French patrouille, from Old French patrouille.



patrol m inan

  1. (military) patrol (going of the rounds)
  2. (military) patrol (movement by a small body of troops beyond the line of outposts)
  3. (military) patrol (guards who go the rounds for observation)


Derived terms[edit]


Further reading[edit]

  • patrol in Wielki słownik języka polskiego, Instytut Języka Polskiego PAN
  • patrol in Polish dictionaries at PWN