Definition of Frisk

Contact of the outer clothing of a person to detect by the sense of touch whether a concealed weapon is being carried. People v. Francis, 1 Dept., 108 A.D.2d 322, 489 N.Y,S.2d 166. A pat-down search of a suspect by police, designed to discover weapons for purpose of insuring safety of officer and others nearby, and not to recover contraband or other evidence for use at subsequent trial. The scope of a frisk has been limited by the courts to be less than a full-scale search. In determining whether a police officer had a basis for initiating a frisk, there are two matters to be considered. One concerns whether the officer had a sufficient degree of suspicion that the party frisked was armed and dangerous, and the other whether the officer was rightfully in the presence of the party frisked so as to be endangered if that person was armed. Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 88 S.Ct. 1868, 20 L.Ed.2d 889. See also Stop and frisk.

That's the definition of Frisk in Black's Law Dictionary 6th Edition. Courtesy of