de·​tail | \ di-ˈtāl How to pronounce detail (audio) , ˈdē-ˌtāl How to pronounce detail (audio) \

Definition of detail

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : extended treatment of or attention to particular items explaining without going into detail giving careful attention to detail
2 : a part of a whole: such as
a : a small and subordinate part : particular planned the wedding down to the smallest detail 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 discussing the details of the building's columns
c : the small elements that collectively constitute a work of art admire the great detail of his work
d photography : the small elements of an image corresponding to those of the subject strong lighting to achieve clarity of detail
3a : selection of a person or group for a particular task (as in military service)
b(1) : the person or group selected a member of a security detail police details at the parade
(2) : the task to be performed were assigned to kitchen detail
in detail
: with all the particulars explained the job in detail


detailed; detailing; details

Definition of detail (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to report minutely and distinctly : to report with close attention to small elements : specify detailed their grievances wrote a letter detailing her vacation
2 : to assign to a particular task was detailed to another unit during maneuvers
3 : to furnish with the smaller elements of design and finish trimmings that detail slips and petticoats
4 : to clean and refurbish (a vehicle) very thoroughly and meticulously detail a car

intransitive verb

: to make detail drawings

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Other Words from detail


detailer noun

Synonyms for detail

Synonyms: Noun

item, particular, point

Synonyms: Verb

post, station

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Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of detail in a Sentence


Every detail of the wedding was carefully planned. They designed every detail of the house. the wooden box's fine carved detail We admired the detail of the artist's work. The job requires attention to detail. The article provides further details. You left out an important detail about their new baby: is it a girl or boy? The novel is full of historical details. The book includes a wealth of detail on living conditions aboard ships at that time. The novel is full of historical detail.


The book details the series of events that led to the tragedy. She wrote a letter detailing her complaints. The Army has detailed him to investigate the complaints.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

For more details, contact Jeff, at jswisseventco@gmail or call 440-219-8805., "Vintage MarketPlace attracts visitors from afar: Olmsted Dates and Data," 6 July 2019 Call 860-673-6791 or visit for details., "Community News For The Farmington Valley Edition," 6 July 2019 See here for more details and a full list of dates. Jordan Runtagh,, "Ringo Starr Is Spreading a Little Peace and Love for His Birthday—and You're Invited," 6 July 2019 Personal stories will be shared, and Enquirer staff will provide an inside look at how the project came together and share behind-the-scenes details., "The Long, Hard Road - Public Forum," 6 July 2019 When taking public transportation, call or check online ahead of time for any updates due to weather, construction or other details that might alter your plans. Mindy Sink, The Know, "Ditch the car: Trails you can reach by taking the bus or light rail," 6 July 2019 As far as details go, Turner wore a stunning Louis Vuitton dress, which boasted long sleeves, a plunging neckline, and beautiful embroidery. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas Just Shared Their First Wedding Photos," 5 July 2019 While we're fully invested in every detail of their wedding night, from the venue (Le Château de Tourreau in Provence, France) to the guest list, there's only one aspect of the ceremony that matters most: Sophie Turner's dress. Eliza Huber,, "Sophie Turner's (Second) Wedding Dress Is Straight Out Of A Fairytale," 4 July 2019 Grand Canyon spokespeople could not be reached for additional details. Mike Cruz, azcentral, "California hiker missing in Grand Canyon presumed to have drowned, officials say," 3 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The now-infamous deal was overseen by Alexander Acosta, Trump’s current Secretary of Labor, whose actions on the case was detailed in a Miami Herald series last year. Mahita Gajanan, Time, "Here's What to Know About the Sex Trafficking Case Against Jeffrey Epstein," 8 July 2019 Court records show her arrest was in connection with the death of 47-year-old Elias Bratcher, though documents that detail her alleged role in the killing were not available Tuesday. Tess Sheets,, "Woman arrested on murder charge in death of Apopka man," 25 June 2019 Mills looked down at the floor and shook his head from side to side as the charges and possible penalties were detailed in court. Jason Meisner,, "Reputed drug dealer charged by feds after fentanyl overdose sparks probe," 18 June 2019 And interestingly, he’s fixated on those now-vintage, printed books that feature hand-drawings detailing how complicated machinery works — manuals and textbooks that dissect and layer the various parts of car engines or industrial equipment. Ray Mark Rinaldi, The Know, "One of Mexico City’s trendsetters is bringing his art and music to Denver," 16 June 2019 There’s even an article in a local paper at the time, which details Thompson benching his best player, Jody Wheeler, for oversleeping and missing a team bus. Sam Blum |,, "An inside look at the 1st team Butch Thompson took to a College World Series 22 years ago," 13 June 2019 The Lexington Herald-Leader reports Scott County Deputy Jaime Morales' concerns are detailed in a state police file on the September shooting. Fox News, "Report: Deputy shot by police feared them more than suspect," 12 June 2019 The incident was detailed in a Crime of the Week statement on Wednesday from Lake County Crime Stoppers, and the Lake Forest Police Department is working in conjunction with the organization to identify the two men. Frank Abderholden, Lake County News-Sun, "Lake Forest police seek 2 men for theft of credit cards during church service," 5 June 2019 Charlier said the vast amounts of waste detailed in some of the projects like the Ti Manman Cheri social protection program to help poor mothers, requires an even more thorough audit of government institutions, including the national palace. miamiherald, "Haiti president accused of embezzlement scheme in government audit of Venezuela aid money," 4 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'detail.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of detail


1603, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1650, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for detail

Noun and Verb

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

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More Definitions for detail



English Language Learners Definition of detail

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a small part of something
: the small parts of something
: a particular fact or piece of information about something or someone



English Language Learners Definition of detail (Entry 2 of 2)

: to state particular facts or information about (something) : to describe or discuss the details of (something)
US : to thoroughly clean (a car) in an attempt to make it look new
formal : to choose (a person or group of people) to do a special job


de·​tail | \ di-ˈtāl How to pronounce detail (audio) , ˈdē-ˌtāl\

Kids Definition of detail

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a dealing with something with attention to each item The news story went into detail.
2 : a small part of something larger : item Every detail of the wedding was perfect.
3 : a soldier or group of soldiers picked for special duty


detailed; detailing

Kids Definition of detail (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to report with attention to each item The book detailed the events.
2 : to select for some special duty

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More from Merriam-Webster on detail

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with detail

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for detail

Spanish Central: Translation of detail

Nglish: Translation of detail for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of detail for Arabic Speakers

Comments on detail

What made you want to look up detail? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something desired as essential

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