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noun de·tail \di-ˈtāl, ˈdē-ˌtāl\

Simple Definition of detail

  • : a small part of something

  • : the small parts of something

  • : a particular fact or piece of information about something or someone

Full Definition of detail

  1. 1 :  extended treatment of or attention to particular items

  2. 2 :  a part of a whole: as a :  a small and subordinate part :  particular; also :  a reproduction of such a part of a work of art b :  a part considered or requiring to be considered separately from the whole c :  the small elements that collectively constitute a work of art d :  the small elements of a photographic image corresponding to those of the subject

  3. 3 a :  selection of a person or group for a particular task (as in military service) b (1) :  the person or group selected (2) :  the task to be performed

in detail
  1. :  with all the particulars <explained the job in detail>

Examples of detail

  1. Every detail of the wedding was carefully planned.

  2. They designed every detail of the house.

  3. the wooden box's fine carved detail

  4. We admired the detail of the artist's work.

  5. The job requires attention to detail.

  6. The article provides further details.

  7. You left out an important detail about their new baby: is it a girl or boy?

  8. The novel is full of historical details.

  9. The book includes a wealth of detail on living conditions aboard ships at that time.

  10. The novel is full of historical detail.

Origin of detail

French détail, from Old French detail slice, piece, from detaillier to cut in pieces, from de- + taillier to cut — more at tailor

First Known Use: 1603

Synonym Discussion of detail

item, detail, particular mean one of the distinct parts of a whole. item applies to each thing specified separately in a list or in a group of things that might be listed or enumerated <every item on the list>. detail applies to one of the small component parts of a larger whole such as a task, building, painting, narration, or process <leave the details to others>. particular stresses the smallness, singleness, and especially the concreteness of a detail or item <a description that included few particulars>.



verb de·tail

Simple Definition of detail

  • : to state particular facts or information about (something) : to describe or discuss the details of (something)

  • : to thoroughly clean (a car) in an attempt to make it look new

  • : to choose (a person or group of people) to do a special job

Full Definition of detail

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to report minutely and distinctly :  specify <detailed their grievances>

  3. 2 :  to assign to a particular task

  4. 3 :  to furnish with the smaller elements of design and finish <trimmings that detail slips and petticoats>

  5. 4 :  to clean and refurbish (a vehicle) very thoroughly and meticulously <detail a car>

  6. intransitive verb
  7. :  to make detail drawings

de·tail·er noun

Examples of detail

  1. The book details the series of events that led to the tragedy.

  2. She wrote a letter detailing her complaints.

  3. The Army has detailed him to investigate the complaints.


First Known Use of detail


Seen and Heard

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February 11, 2016

the holder of an office

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