Special constable
Constable Con"sta*ble (k[o^]n"st[.a]*b'l or k[u^]n"st[.a]*b'l), n. [OE. conestable, constable, a constable (in sense 1), OF. conestable, F. conn['e]table, LL. conestabulus, constabularius, comes stabuli, orig., count of the stable, master of the horse, equerry; comes count (L. companion) + L. stabulum stable. See {Count} a nobleman, and {Stable}.] 1. A high officer in the monarchical establishments of the Middle Ages. [1913 Webster]

Note: The constable of France was the first officer of the crown, and had the chief command of the army. It was also his duty to regulate all matters of chivalry. The office was suppressed in 1627. The constable, or lord high constable, of England, was one of the highest officers of the crown, commander in chief of the forces, and keeper of the peace of the nation. He also had judicial cognizance of many important matters. The office was as early as the Conquest, but has been disused (except on great and solemn occasions), since the attainder of Stafford, duke of Buckingham, in the reign of Henry VIII. [1913 Webster]

2. (Law) An officer of the peace having power as a conservator of the public peace, and bound to execute the warrants of judicial officers. --Bouvier. [1913 Webster]

Note: In England, at the present time, the constable is a conservator of the peace within his district, and is also charged by various statutes with other duties, such as serving summons, precepts, warrants, etc. In the United States, constables are town or city officers of the peace, with powers similar to those of the constables of England. In addition to their duties as conservators of the peace, they are invested with others by statute, such as to execute civil as well as criminal process in certain cases, to attend courts, keep juries, etc. In some cities, there are officers called {high constables}, who act as chiefs of the constabulary or police force. In other cities the title of constable, as well as the office, is merged in that of the police officer. [1913 Webster]

{High constable}, a constable having certain duties and powers within a hundred. [Eng.]

{Petty constable}, a conservator of the peace within a parish or tithing; a tithingman. [Eng.]

{Special constable}, a person appointed to act as constable of special occasions.

{To} {overrun the constable}, or {outrun the constable}, to spend more than one's income; to get into debt. [Colloq.] --Smollett. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • special constable — A person sworn in by the justices to preserve the peace, or to execute warrants in special circumstances • • • Main Entry: ↑constable special constable see under ↑constable • • • Main Entry: ↑special * * * special constable UK US noun …   Useful english dictionary

  • Special constable — Special Spe cial, a. [L. specialis, fr. species a particular sort, kind, or quality: cf. F. sp[ e]cial. See {Species}, and cf. {Especial}.] 1. Of or pertaining to a species; constituting a species or sort. [1913 Webster] A special is called by… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • special constable — n someone in Britain who sometimes works as a police officer without being paid, and who also has another main job …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • special constable — ► NOUN ▪ (in the UK) a person who is trained to act as a police officer on particular occasions, especially in times of emergency …   English terms dictionary

  • Special constable — A special (police) constable (SC or SPC) is a law enforcement officer who is not a regular member of a police force, but is a member of a volunteer police auxiliary. Many police departments are complemented by a Special Constabulary, members of… …   Wikipedia

  • special constable — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms special constable : singular special constable plural special constables British someone who is not regularly employed as a police officer, but who has special training to help the police if they need extra… …   English dictionary

  • special constable — A civilian sworn in to aid a constable in preserving the peace …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • special constable — noun A volunteer police officer …   Wiktionary

  • special constable — noun (in the UK) a person who is trained to act as a police officer on particular occasions, especially in times of emergency …   English new terms dictionary

  • special constable — noun (C) someone in Britain who has an ordinary job, but is sometimes employed as a police officer when the police need more help …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

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