masculine and feminine noun
- A rural paramilitary police force founded in Spain in 1844. It has been used by different governments to fight against organized labor, republicanism, and regional autonomy, and came to be seen as an instrument of state repression. The Civil Guard has adapted to the new democratic Spain and is involved in anti-terrrorist operations, the coastguard service and environmental protection. Civil guards are armed and traditionally have had a distinctive uniform, including the tricornio, a black patent leather, three-cornered hat. In an effort to change its image, the tricornio is now worn only on ceremonial occasions or in front of official buildings.