verb (used without object), pa·trolled, pa·trol·ling.
- (of a police officer, soldier, etc.) to pass along a road, beat, etc., or around or through a specified area in order to maintain order and security.
verb (used with object), pa·trolled, pa·trol·ling.
- to maintain the order and security of (a road, beat, area, etc.) by passing along or through it.
- a person or group of persons assigned to patrol an area, road, etc.
- an automobile, ship, plane, squadron, fleet, etc., assigned to patrol an area.
- Military. a detachment of two or more persons, often a squad or platoon, detailed for reconnaissance or combat.
- the act of patrolling.
- patrol wagon.
- (in the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts) a subdivision of a troop, usually consisting of about eight members.
- the action of going through or around a town, neighbourhood, etc, at regular intervals for purposes of security or observation
- a person or group that carries out such an action
- a military detachment with the mission of security, gathering information, or combat with enemy forces
- a division of a troop of Scouts or Guides
verb -trols, -trolling or -trolled
- to engage in a patrol of (a place)
n.1660s, “action of going the rounds” (of a military camp, etc.), from French patrouille “a night watch” (1530s), from patrouiller “go the rounds to watch or guard,” originally “tramp through the mud,” probably soldiers’ slang, from Old French patouiller “paddle in water,” probably from pate “paw, foot” (see patten). Compare paddlefoot, World War II U.S. Army slang for “infantry soldier.” Meaning “those who go on a patrol” is from 1660s. Sense of “detachment of soldiers sent out to scout the countryside, the enemy, etc.” is attested from 1702. v.1690s, from patrol (n.) and in part from French patrouiller. Related: Patrolled; patrolling.