Meaning of patrol in English:


Pronunciation /pəˈtrəʊl/

See synonyms for patrol

Translate patrol into Spanish


  • 1An expedition to keep watch over an area, especially by guards or police walking or driving around at regular intervals.

    ‘we were ordered to investigate on a night patrol’
    • ‘He said the heightened joint police/army patrols and regular helicopter surveillance in the area was a contributing factor to the decline in criminal activity.’
    • ‘Security is maintained at the crematorium and regular patrols take place at night but it does not merit a CCTV system.’
    • ‘We work closely with the police who do regular patrols and take alcohol off kids found drinking.’
    • ‘It is subject to routine checks by a town-run security service, and also lies on the route of regular police patrols.’
    • ‘If the police carried out regular patrols during the weekend then it would improve the situation on the estate.’
    • ‘Regular staff and police patrols are being made on the estate and any reported incidents of damage or nuisance will be taken up by the police.’
    • ‘Plans also include extra police patrols and security patrols.’
    • ‘In addition to liaising with the Coast Guard for coastal patrols, detectives are also monitoring known access routes used by traffickers.’
    • ‘The military carries out regular security patrols in Unionist and Loyalist areas on foot or in police or army vehicles.’
    • ‘To accomplish these goals, the battalion dispatched patrols at irregular intervals, keeping bandits guessing as to when they would occur.’
    • ‘Regular patrols by city centre wardens and police community support officers are also being made throughout college and university campuses.’
    • ‘On Friday and Saturday nights there are also regular security patrols.’
    • ‘It's the responsibility of the transport police but there are no regular patrols and no CCTV.’
    • ‘The new units will be lightly trained, to carry out tasks like guard duty and border patrols, rather than raids and weapons sweeps.’
    • ‘The police have stepped up patrols in the area and have made a number of arrests, but for public disorder offences rather than criminal damage.’
    • ‘It is because of the presence of this rebel group in the area that the night patrols have been intensified as a security measure.’
    • ‘Ask them to make your facilities part of their routine daily safety patrols.’
    • ‘Eight motorists were arrested and charged with driving under the influence of liquor during routine patrols.’
    • ‘The shootings erupted at about 1 a.m. as two officers were on a routine patrol in the city's west end.’
    • ‘Marines conducted foot patrols and sent out sniper teams to intercept would be attackers.’
    vigil, guard, watch, monitoring, policing, beat, beat-pounding, patrolling, round, sentry duty
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A person or group of people sent to keep watch over an area.
      ‘a police patrol stopped the man and searched him’
      • ‘Extra police patrols were also sent out adding thousands to the wages bill.’
      • ‘More police foot patrols will be sent on to the streets at pub chucking-out time in a bid to cut violent crime.’
      • ‘It meant extra patrols had to be sent out and police stations kept open 24 hours a day.’
      • ‘We sent three patrols to escort the fire brigade which ties up our resources if a more serious incident takes place at the other end of town.’
      • ‘Finding nothing, patrols were sent out to expand the search area.’
      • ‘But a couple of years ago, a police dog patrol was sent out to bring in a mentally disturbed person from a forest.’
      • ‘The bureau confirmed their suspicions when it sent patrols into the countryside to round up deserters and men subject to conscription.’
      • ‘Also, many small patrols shall have been sent out over the previous weeks.’
      • ‘They are also offering to send out rubbish patrols after closing to pick up bottles, flyers and food wrappings in the immediate vicinity of the premises.’
      • ‘So, if they haven't indicted him, they're not sending out search patrols for him?’
      • ‘We asked the ski patrols to send us their accident report forms every two or three weeks.’
      • ‘He next turns up at 4 am when a Garda patrol stops him in the town centre and ask him his date of birth which he gives before they send him on his way.’
      • ‘New Malden's safer neighbourhood team will deploy extra patrols to the area following the incident.’
      • ‘We need more police patrols in the area to stop this vandalism and I think the police are doing this.’
      • ‘They are conducting door to door inquiries and have doubled high visibility night time police patrols in the area to reassure worried residents.’
      • ‘I was so absorbed in my thoughts that suddenly I walked straight into a patrol guard coming back from the chase.’
      • ‘Well, she went out walking alone one night and she ran into a patrol of guards.’
      • ‘In this manner he watched two patrols walk under him, completely unaware of his presence.’
      group, crew, gang, team, squad, patrol
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    2. 1.2mass noun The action of keeping watch over an area.
      ‘the police were on patrol when they were ordered to investigate the incident’
      • ‘On August 31, two U.S. solders were killed and a third wounded in the same area while on patrol.’
      • ‘It is understood a beach party was in full swing at the time and gardaí were on patrol in the area.’
      • ‘Imagine you are a sergeant taking a platoon of soldiers on patrol through rugged northern Australia.’
      • ‘I did my best to try to reassure him that it was highly unlikely that he would suffer another attack the next time he went out on patrol.’
      • ‘We have not objected to any of the applications and we are not planning to have any extra bobbies on patrol for the rugby games.’
      • ‘The shift inspectors whose officers I had observed on patrol over many months offered either to escort me personally or provide a constable for the purpose.’
      • ‘When not on patrol, resting or at the range, crews can be found cleaning, fitting, adjusting and testing the systems integral to these platforms.’
      • ‘If we try to do so, we cannot provide the commander with the quality of intelligence that we, as a community, owe to both him and the soldiers on patrol.’
      • ‘The five men were detained Sunday after military officers on patrol found traces of blood leading to their houses, he said.’
      • ‘Plainclothes and uniformed officers will be on patrol to prevent would-be troublemakers boarding flights.’
      • ‘The school has decided to put more teachers on patrol at break time to watch the children.’
      • ‘The policeman on patrol is primarily a ‘peace officer’ rather than a ‘law officer’.’
      • ‘While on patrol, we continued to conduct random checks of these locations as well as provide equipment and salaries for the guards.’
      • ‘Six months after that, he was on patrol when another sniper opened up.’
      • ‘The force is offering people the chance to accompany their local constable on patrol to see what it is really like at the cutting edge of crime-fighting.’
      • ‘All our crew knew was that someone had been shot in the face while on patrol.’
      • ‘There is now 24 hour surveillance and uniformed wardens on patrol which has improved the situation somewhat.’
      • ‘Armed officers have been deployed on patrol to protect the community and their unarmed colleagues.’
      • ‘Heavily armed police and sniffer dogs were on patrol.’
      • ‘Officers on patrol just happened to be passing and made the arrest.’
    3. 1.3A routine operational voyage of a ship or aircraft.
      ‘a submarine patrol’
      • ‘Three days later she sailed from Darwin to conduct routine patrols of Australia's northern waters and enforce the Australian Economic Exclusion Zone.’
      • ‘Apart from patrols at sea the ship has seen a number of significant events whilst on deployment.’
      • ‘During World War Two she served with the US Navy on anti-submarine patrols, convoy escort and even as the flagship of an amphibious assault group.’
      • ‘British submarines conducted 2,223 patrols in home waters, the Atlantic, Mediterranean and Far East.’
      • ‘We continued our patrol looking for German aircraft.’
      • ‘The decision to commence the naval and air patrols came 24 hours after two very important happenings for the RAN.’
      • ‘He argued that the shah remained a threat to the islands despite diplomatic warnings and air and naval patrols.’
      • ‘Active duty airmen joined the patrols in the 1970s.’
      patrolman, patrolwoman, sentinel, sentry, garrison, defender
      View synonyms
    4. 1.4British An official who controls traffic where children cross the road.
      ‘there were two schools but no crossing patrol’
      • ‘In areas where there was a pedestrian crossing, crossing patrols weren't replaced so we didn't get one.’
      • ‘It was observed that when the girls see the patrols they cross the road and when the officers are gone they cross back over to the beach.’
      • ‘But parents were clamouring to get crossing patrols near their schools and the Commissioner was having difficulty finding people for the job.’
      • ‘For about nine months there had not been a crossing patrol on what is one of the busiest roads in the borough.’
      • ‘School crossing patrols are in crisis in some parts of Greater Manchester and Cheshire, with councils struggling to recruit volunteers.’
      • ‘The work carried out by crossing patrols is often taken for granted but it is integral to the community.’
      • ‘Parents are allowed to park in The Sun pub's car park and cross the road from there but we need a crossing patrol person to do that job.’
      • ‘Safety chiefs have been accused of putting children's lives at risk after axing a school crossing patrol because the road is too dangerous.’
      • ‘Until recently school crossing patrols were not allowed to stop traffic unless there were children crossing at the time.’
      • ‘According to a council spokeswoman, drivers who fail to respond to crossing patrols are breaking the law and should be prosecuted but, who is there to charge them?’
      • ‘An officer from Wiltshire County Council's road safety department was due to come and show the crossing patrol officer how to use it, but he cried off at the last moment.’
      • ‘The crossing patrol officer was hit as she stood in the middle of the road.’
      • ‘There are a number of vacancies for crossing patrols but the figure is no higher than in other authorities.’
      • ‘There are now 30,000 school crossing patrols in Britain, 360 in the service now run by Lancashire County Council.’
      • ‘The shortage of crossing patrols was at its most severe before September when at one point there were 11 vacancies.’
      • ‘Can't these motorists appreciate why the crossing patrols are there?’
      • ‘Many school crossing patrols have been subjected to verbal abuse from irate motorists in recent years.’
      • ‘He said he believed children would be more at risk without a crossing patrol.’
      • ‘The crossing patrol will also be brought back in time for the new school year.’
      • ‘It has also urged the council to redouble its efforts to recruit more school crossing patrols.’
  • 2A unit of six to eight Scouts or Guides forming part of a troop.

    ‘break the Cubs into sixes and Scouts into patrols’
    • ‘Boys around the UK read ‘Scouting for Boys’ and spontaneously started to form scout patrols.’

verbverb patrols, verb patrolling, verb patrolled

[with object]
  • Keep watch over (an area) by regularly walking or travelling around it.

    ‘the garrison had to patrol the streets to maintain order’
    • ‘pairs of men were patrolling on each side of the thoroughfare’
    • ‘Two police officers patrolling the lot walked by a motor vehicle with two front seat occupants.’
    • ‘The area is patrolled regularly by both the divisional traffic unit and the district detective branch.’
    • ‘Police patrolled the area along the beachfront with other bomb detection devices.’
    • ‘All sites are regularly patrolled by the litter wardens and illegal dumping will not be tolerated.’
    • ‘The cemetery gates are locked and the cemetery is patrolled regularly.’
    • ‘Two villagers who took care of him said he hid in a closet when the police patrolled the area.’
    • ‘Unformed officers patrolled areas around the town centre where people often parked cars for the whole day while at work.’
    • ‘The two men parked a block down the street and they took turns patrolling the area.’
    • ‘All incidents are being logged by residents, and the crime and disorder team have been patrolling the area.’
    • ‘They had forgotten that the night security officer patrolled the area until midnight.’
    • ‘Extra police officers are now patrolling the streets to combat the thieves.’
    • ‘Police spent most of Friday night patrolling the area in the hope of finding the getaway car.’
    • ‘The conservation area would be patrolled by rangers recruited from local communities.’
    • ‘The estate is patrolled by ex-soldiers who are helping to restore law and order.’
    • ‘Mounted police and dog handlers patrolled the streets and a large number of officers in riot gear were deployed outside the station.’
    • ‘Police patrolled the streets and arrested about 10 vendors who were selling fireworks.’
    • ‘Soldiers had set up posts near the village and regularly patrolled it.’
    • ‘Generic tasks will include curfew checks and patrolling trouble spot areas.’
    • ‘Green-uniformed riot police patrolled the streets or sat in parked trucks.’
    • ‘At least a dozen police officers, some of them mounted, were patrolling the venue and its surrounding area.’
    keep guard, keep guard on, guard, keep watch, keep watch on
    View synonyms


Mid 17th century (as a noun): from German Patrolle, from French patrouille, from patrouiller ‘paddle in mud’, from patte ‘paw’ + dialect (gad)rouille ‘dirty water’.