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

Once the rebar is worked into the designer shapes, millwork, kiln cast glass, marble, leather, and final details are added to finish off the design. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "A Bold and Sculptural New Furniture Collection Inspired by the Basics," 26 Feb. 2019 Reporters were briefed on the details after the speech by deputy Gov. Dan Hynes and Pritzker budget director Alexis Sturm, but the governor’s press office prohibited reporters from quoting the two directly. John O'connor, The Seattle Times, "Pritzker’s $39B budget relies on taxing marijuana, betting," 20 Feb. 2019 Rus Yusupov, a central figure in Mr. Kroll’s adult life who co-founded Intermedia Labs with him, discussed many aspects of their relationship in an interview, but declined to comment on some details. Yoree Koh, WSJ, "The Tech Whiz Behind Vine and HQ Trivia Made Millions in His 20s. He Was Dead by 34.," 15 Feb. 2019 Sign up here be among the first to hear more details about the Ori Cloud Bed. Maya Mcdowell, House Beautiful, "This Robotic Bed Transforms into a Sofa and Coffee Table," 12 Feb. 2019 Considering how top-secret her relationship with Maroney is, don’t expect Lawrence to start going off on romantic details about her love life. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Jennifer Lawrence Is Engaged to Art Gallerist Cooke Maroney," 5 Feb. 2019 Amazon declined to comment or confirm details about this marketing push. Rani Molla, Recode, "Amazon wants brands to advertise Alexa voice shopping — essentially for free," 26 Nov. 2018 Like the Drake, the Draper doesn’t skimp on the details. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Ultra-stylish tiny house comes with fold-down deck," 9 Nov. 2018 There are a plethora of other details: The website TitanticSwitch documents 44 separate claims which attempting to point towards the argument that the Olympic lies at the bottom of the sea instead of the original Titanic. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The Wild Conspiracy That the Titanic Never Sank," 27 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

As detailed by Vox, 33 people have either been indicted or pleaded guilty to election interference, five of whom are former Trump advisers. Emily Bloch, Teen Vogue, "The Russia Investigation Is Almost Over. Here's What You Need to Know," 8 Dec. 2018 The sets — depicting New York City scenes ranging from Warbucks’ Fifth Avenue mansion to St. Mark’s Place to the Rockefeller Center — are sumptuously detailed in vintage glory. Elisa Murray, The Seattle Times, "Leapin’ lizards! We leaped through 3 family holiday shows, from ‘Annie’ to ‘Matilda’ to ‘Wonderland’," 5 Dec. 2018 Her allegations were first detailed by Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer in the New Yorker. Emily Stewart, Vox, "The FBI has reportedly reached out to Brett Kavanaugh’s second accuser," 29 Sep. 2018 The mysterious online sect was first spotted by Twitter user Flamboyant Shoes Guy, later detailed by TechCrunch, and then confirmed by Amazon to The Sun. Fox News, "Amazon pays a creepy Twitter army to convince you its warehouses aren't evil," 24 Aug. 2018 The fees for submitting the forms are detailed in this page. Daniel Shoer Roth, miamiherald, "No cash? No problem. It just got easier for immigrants to pay for their applications," 6 July 2018 Gregory has worked hard to get back in the league, spending more than six weeks in a drug and alcohol rehab program, passing all his drug tests and adhering to counseling as part of six-month intense rehab regimen, as detailed by Yahoo Sports. Clarence E. Hill Jr., star-telegram, "Randy Gregory's future in hands of Roger Goodell, will now workout with Greg Townsend," 13 June 2018 And George Sodini, a gunman whose murder of three women at a gym outside Pittsburgh in 2009 appears to share similarities with the Tallahassee shooting, maintained a blog detailing his anger toward women for months before committing the crime. Anna North, Vox, "How mass shooters practice their hate online," 4 Nov. 2018 Her taxable income is subject to regular rates up to 12%, as detailed in the tax brackets. WSJ, "WSJ Tax Guide 2019: Taxes on Investment Income," 15 Feb. 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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Statistics for detail

Last Updated

21 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for detail

The first known use of detail was in 1603

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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).


to reflect, repel, echo, or resound

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