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

Other Words from detail


detailer noun

Synonyms for detail

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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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

Noun 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. Verb 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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But there’s a key detail in the 2003 outbreak that worries researchers examining this new one. Wired, 5 Aug. 2022 Details on logo sizing, font treatments and imagery style are captured in full, distinct detail. Goran Paun, Forbes, 4 Aug. 2022 Perhaps the most interesting detail in this massive iPhone 14 leak concerns the battery. Chris Smith, BGR, 4 Aug. 2022 It’s flawless television, except for one glaring detail: the occasional horrendous usage of Spanish. Fidel Martinez, Los Angeles Times, 4 Aug. 2022 But there’s a mind-blowing detail that only just came to light. David Meyer, Fortune, 25 July 2022 The half-on-half-off look made for an interesting asymmetrical detail, which also exposed her slouchy white tank top underneath. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, 20 July 2022 The new image, which took less than a day to make, shows immensely more detail—and more galaxies. Rivka Galchen, The New Yorker, 18 July 2022 On Friday morning, Manchin then offered new, finer detail on the exact scope of his demands. Tony Romm,, 15 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Essays from the best-selling author detail his experiences during the pandemic. Washington Post, 3 Aug. 2022 Court records detail what police and prosecutors believe happened in these cases. Ashley Luthern, Journal Sentinel, 27 July 2022 The medical staff and its patients detail their harrowing experiences and the vital work that Ohmatdyt is doing. Melik Kaylan, Forbes, 24 July 2022 The documents detail a yearlong investigation, replete with confidential informants and a sting operation involving a reddish-brown cow, her calf and the black yearling bull — all equipped by the special rangers with microchips. Susan Carroll, NBC News, 22 July 2022 These will detail all of the changes in the update. Jacob Siegal, BGR, 22 July 2022 The panel will detail the private communications of those representatives during the insurrection. oregonlive, 21 July 2022 The prime-time hearing will detail what Trump did — or did not do — during several hours that day as his supporters beat police officers and broke into the Capitol. Farnoush Amiri And Mary Clare Jalonick, Anchorage Daily News, 19 July 2022 The prime-time hearing will detail what Trump did — or did not do — during several hours that day as his supporters beat police and broke into the Capitol. Mary Clare Jalonick,, 18 July 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near detail



detail drawing

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Statistics for detail

Last Updated

10 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Detail.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for detail


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

More from Merriam-Webster on detail

Nglish: Translation of detail for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of detail for Arabic Speakers


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