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pat someone down

Definition of pat someone down in English:

(Of a police officer or security official) pass the hands over someone’s clothing in a search for concealed items such as weapons or illegal drugs.
Example sentences
  • When police officers arrived, a passer-by pointed out where the man had run off to; the officers found him and patted him down.
  • Then the two airmen led the suspect away to the hood of a patrol car, where they patted him down for weapons and drugs.
  • John patted him down, but found nothing.
See parent entry: pat

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