Definition of cops and robbers in English:

cops and robbers

Pronunciation /käps and/ /kɑps ænd/ /(ə)n(d) ˈräbərz/ /(ə)n(d) ˈrɑbərz/

plural noun

  • 1A children's game of hiding and chasing, in which the participants pretend to be police and criminals.

    ‘He would listen to me, and the kids started a game of cops and robbers, unbeknownst to us, of course.’
    • ‘Four kindergartners at Wilson Elementary School in Sayreville, N.J., were suspended for three days for playing a make-believe game of cops and robbers during recess, using their fingers as guns.’
    • ‘Using whatever farm tools came to hand inventing a boy's game of cops and robbers and knights in sturdy farm armour, the mask was to fight all the natural foes, bush fire, drought, loneliness.’
    • ‘Play games your elementary school child loves, like tag, cops and robbers, Simon says and red light, green light.’
    • ‘They would play hide-n-seek, cops and robbers, play in Anna Maria's little pool, race on their bikes, pretend they were soldiers in a war, or pretend they were pirates, the possibilities were endless.’
    • ‘He's definitely the Barney we know and love: full of himself yet easily flummoxed, quick to overreact, with both a child's delight and an adult's swaggering pride in getting to play cops and robbers for a living.’
    • ‘It was a harmless afternoon, and I was lounging around inside class, waiting impatiently for the bell to ring, so I could run out to meet my friends at the playground and play cops and robbers.’
    • ‘Go back and play cops and robbers where they're still scared of you.’
    • ‘Kids' games have always involved shooting, for the most part: cops and robbers, cowboys and Indians.’
    • ‘And you were masked and dressed in black because you like to play cops and robbers?’
    • ‘On the third tour, he turned old women into Indian maidens and old men into players of cops and robbers.’
    • ‘I feel like sometimes they think it's a game, like they're playing cops and robbers and they're spies.’
    • ‘No, I mean like when we'd play pirates or cops and robbers or cowboys and Indians or whatever.’
    • ‘They play cops and robbers for real.’
    • ‘In cops and robbers, kids are roleplaying ‘good versus evil’.’
    • ‘Kids would play cops and robbers, cowboys and Indians.’
    • ‘The principal of a Colorado elementary school can no longer quiz students who play cops and robbers about their families' firearms.’
    • ‘In this climate a child was expelled for playing cops and robbers with a paper gun, and another for waving a biscuit at a teacher.’
    • ‘When I was a wee tyke we played cops and robbers and cowboys and Indians.’
    • ‘Aaron told me that they used the hut to play cops and robbers when they were little, but that they now used it to hang out in at night.’
    1. 1.1A simplistic polarization of the conflict between criminals and police, seen virtually as a game; a lifestyle centered around this.
      ‘to him this could be a lark, a bit of cops and robbers’
      • ‘Fighting terror was judged, at the top, to be a dangerous form of cops and robbers, not a nuanced, intricate war.’
      • ‘Yet there she was in that bank, playing cops and robbers.’
      • ‘Unless, of course, improving sales weakens your hand in demanding ever stricter copyright rules and legitimises your playing cops and robbers.’
      • ‘Two would-be thieves were led away in handcuffs Tuesday after taking police on a dangerous real-life game of cops and robbers - one that involved car jackings, a high-speed chase, a couple of collisions and armed robbery.’
      • ‘The national movement would then be understood like a story of cops and robbers, of great leaders and great villains.’