Definition of plain clothes in English:

plain clothes

Syllabification: plain clothes


  • Ordinary clothes rather than uniform, especially when worn as a disguise by police officers: a detective in plain clothes
    More example sentences
    • He was chased by three to five policemen in plain clothes.
    • We wore plain clothes rather than uniform and slept in them, including our shoes, for weeks on end.
    • Some of that misunderstanding may have arisen innocently, if for example a witness saw a man leaping the barrier without realising that he was in fact a police officer in plain clothes.


[attributive] (plainclothes) Back to top  
  • (Especially of a police officer) wearing ordinary clothes instead of a uniform: plainclothes troopers
    More example sentences
    • He was trapped by plainclothes police officers at Doncaster railway station.
    • The publication took the form of the sale of a packet of photographs to two plain clothes police officers.
    • Extra uniformed and plain clothes police officers will be patrolling the streets of Ashton town centre as part of the initiative.

More definitions of plain clothes

Definition of plain clothes in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day maelstrom
Pronunciation: ˈmeɪlstrəm
a powerful whirlpool in the sea