verb de·tect \di-ˈtekt, dē-\

: to discover or notice the presence of (something that is hidden or hard to see, hear, taste, etc.)

Full Definition of DETECT

transitive verb
:  to discover the true character of
:  to discover or determine the existence, presence, or fact of <detect alcohol in the blood>
intransitive verb
:  to work as a detective
de·tect·abil·i·ty \-ˌtek-tə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun
de·tect·able \-ˈtek-tə-bəl\ adjective

Examples of DETECT

  1. The test is used to detect the presence of alcohol in the blood.
  2. This type of cancer is difficult to detect in its early stages.

Origin of DETECT

Middle English, from Latin detectus, past participle of detegere to uncover, detect, from de- + tegere to cover — more at thatch
First Known Use: 1574
DETECTABLE Defined for Kids


verb de·tect \di-ˈtekt\

Definition of DETECT for Kids

:  to learn that something or someone is or was there <detect smoke>
de·tec·tor \-ˈtek-tər\ noun


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