posse

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See also: Posse

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Ellipsis of posse comitatus.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

posse (plural posses)

  1. A group or company of people, originally especially one having hostile intent; a throng, a crowd. [from 17th c.]
    • 1972, Mortimer J. Adler; Charles Van Doren, chapter 3, in How to Read a Book, Touchstone September 2014 edition, New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, OCLC 315673274, page 23:
      It is traditional in America to criticize the schools; for more than a century, parents, self-styled experts, and educators themselves have attacked and indicted the educational system. No aspect of schooling has been more severely criticized than reading instruction. The current books have a long ancestry, and every innovation carries in its train a posse of suspicious and, one feels, unpersuadable observers.
  2. (now historical, in later use chiefly US) A group of people summoned to help law enforcement. [from 17th c.]
    Coordinate term: vigilante
    • 1751, Tobias Smollett, The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle, I.20:
      He [] no sooner set his nose within the room to which he was directed, than the constable and his posse sprung upon him, before he had the least intimation of his design, or any opportunity of acting in his own defence.
    • 1986, Donald R. Lavash, Sheriff William Brady, Tragic Hero of the Lincoln County War, Sunstone Press (→ISBN), page 77:
      Mathews then appointed Morton as a deputy sheriff and after a posse had been selected, they went in pursuit of the criminals. Within a few hours, the posse overtook the thieves.
    • 2013, Andrew C. Isenberg, Wyatt Earp: A Vigilante Life, Hill and Wang (→ISBN), page 165:
      While Wyatt dismounted and aimed his shotgun at Brocius, the rest of his posse retreated.
  3. (US) A search party.
  4. (US, Jamaican, slang) A criminal gang. [from 20th c.]
    • 1997, Michael D. Lyman, Organized Crime, Prentice Hall, page 287:
      Jamaican posses can be traced back to the Jamaican neighborhoods, and posse names correspond to the names of each neighborhood in which the gangs operate.
  5. (colloquial) A group of (especially young) people seen as constituting a peer group or band of associates; a gang, a group of friends. [from 20th c.]
    • 2014, April Boyd-Noronha, The Soul of a Single Parent: How to Snapback and Get Your SWAG On, AuthorHouse (→ISBN), page 77:
      But the few friends that I DO have are my “ride or die” chicks—my posse.

Translations[edit]

Further reading[edit]

References[edit]


Anagrams[edit]


Franco-Provençal[edit]

Noun[edit]

posse f

  1. udder, teat
    Synonym: uvro

Jamaican Creole[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From English posse.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈpa.sɪ/
  • Hyphenation: po‧sse

Noun[edit]

posse (plural: posse dem, quantified: posse)

  1. criminal crew; gang; posse
    Nuh walk inna posse, mi nuh walk inna gang.
    I don't belong to any criminal crews. I don't belong to any gangs.

See also[edit]


Latin[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

(Classical) IPA(key): /ˈpos.se/, [ˈpɔs̠ːɛ]

Verb[edit]

posse

  1. present active infinitive of possum  "to be able (to)"

Noun[edit]

posse n (indeclinable)

  1. power, ability
  2. potentiality, capability of being
  3. (Late Latin) force, body of men
  4. (Medieval Latin) territory, dominion

References[edit]

  • "possum", see "Posse as subst. (poet.)" in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • posse in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition with additions by D. P. Carpenterius, Adelungius and others, edited by Léopold Favre, 1883–1887)
  • Carl Meißner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[1], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • (ambiguous) to be scarcely able to restrain one's laughter: risum tenere vix posse
    • (ambiguous) to be scarcely able to restrain one's laughter: risum aegre continere posse
    • (ambiguous) to be hardly able to restrain one's tears: lacrimas tenere non posse
    • (ambiguous) to be hardly able to restrain one's tears: fletum cohibere non posse
    • (ambiguous) to be unable to speak for emotion: prae lacrimis loqui non posse
    • (ambiguous) to be unable to sleep: somnum capere non posse
    • (ambiguous) to have great influence with a person; to have considerable weight: multum auctoritate valere, posse apud aliquem
    • (ambiguous) to have great weight as a speaker: multum dicendo valere, posse
    • (ambiguous) to be unable to say all one wants: verbis non omnia exsequi posse
    • (ambiguous) to have a powerful navy: navibus plurimum posse

Portuguese[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin posse (power, ability).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

posse f (plural posses)

  1. possession, land
  2. (uncountable) ownership
  3. (uncountable, politics) command
    • 2015 November 26, São José Almeida, “Cavaco deverá sublinhar desafios ao dar posse a Costa”, in Público[2]:
      No Palácio da Ajuda, tomarão posse todos os membros do Governo, os 17 ministros e os 41 secretários de Estado, numa cerimónia conjunta à imagem do que aconteceu a 30 de Outubro, com o XX Governo, liderado por Pedro Passos Coelho.
      (please add an English translation of this quote)