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A term used in Criminal Law to refer to the superficial running of the hands over the body of an individual by a law enforcement agent or official in order to determine whether such individual is holding an illegal object, such as a weapon or narcotics. A frisk is distinguishable from a search, which is a more extensive examination of an individual.


Stop and Frisk.


v. quickly patting down the clothes of a possible criminal suspect to determine if there is a concealed weapon. This police action is generally considered legal (constitutional) without a search warrant. Generally it is preferred that women officers frisk women and men officers frisk men.


verb check, conduct a search, examine, examine closely, examine intently, explore, hunt, hunt through, investigate, lascivire, look into, look over, look through, peer into, poke into, probe, pry into, rake through, review, salire, scan, scour, scrutinize, search one's pockets, search through, seek, subject to scrutiny
Associated concepts: reasonable belief that safety requires a patting down, search, stop and frisk