Simple Definition of detention
: the act of keeping someone in a prison or similar place
: the state of being kept in a prison or similar place
: a punishment in which a student is required to stay at school after the rest of the students have left
Full Definition of detention
1 : the act or fact of detaining or holding back; especially : a holding in custody
2 : the state of being detained; especially : a period of temporary custody prior to disposition by a court
Examples of detention
the detention of suspected terrorists
The jail is only used for brief detentions.
They both got three detentions this year.
He got detention for being late to class.
Origin of detention
Middle English detencion, from Anglo-French or Latin; Anglo-French, from Latin detention-, detentio, from detinēre to detain
First Known Use: 15th century
DETENTION Defined for Kids
Definition of detention
1 : the act of holding back or delaying : the condition of being held or delayed <The prisoner was held in detention before trial.>
2 : the punishment of being kept after school
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