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

Synonyms: Verb

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Judd on Thursday provided further details about the quadruple homicide, drawing from an interview in which, officials say, Riley confessed to the killings in detail. Washington Post, 10 Sep. 2021 Top Pebble Limited Partnership mining executives were secretly recorded in 2020 describing in detail their cozy influence over US lawmakers and regulators. Ella Nilsen And Paul Leblanc, CNN, 9 Sep. 2021 Consider asking your financial advisor for a breakdown of 529 plans that may be right for your situation, including all fee estimates and discuss your options in detail. Tom Cooney And Crystal Faulkner, The Enquirer, 6 Sep. 2021 When Debbie's thoughts are included, they were expressed out loud at the time or described in detail., 1 Sep. 2021 The pitch definitely needs to reflect that research, customer development and thought to the extent that people can describe their customer persona in detail. Miruna Girtu, Forbes, 1 Sep. 2021 Steve Martin [who co-created the show] is very detail oriented. Dan Snierson,, 31 Aug. 2021 But Fletcher said the county discussed the CCA issue in detail in 2019 and earlier this year voted to move forward on making a selection between SDCP and the Clean Energy Alliance. Rob Nikolewski, San Diego Union-Tribune, 31 Aug. 2021 Other important species of red oaks are listed separately and discussed in detail in the Library section of Howard Garrett, Dallas News, 30 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb With the help of her son, Crispian, a screenwriter, Mills has been able to write her memoir and detail her life—including her recollections of Walt Disney himself. Alexia Fernández,, 3 Sep. 2021 The woman reads the letters and, driving her pickup truck for a long journey, carries out the mission that the letters detail. Richard Brod, The New Yorker, 3 Sep. 2021 Some family members think that the documents could detail connections between the Saudi government and the hijackers who carried out the attacks. New York Times, 3 Sep. 2021 No camera can replicate the full range of tone and detail the naked eye can see. Suhita Shirodkar, Wired, 1 Sep. 2021 The budget outlines spending goals that committees must now detail in legislation, such as for free pre-kindergarten and community college, paid family and sick leave, and a Medicare expansion for hearing, dental and vision benefits. Bart Jansen, USA TODAY, 24 Aug. 2021 Atlanta quarterback AJ McCarron sustained an injury to his right knee during an NFL preseason game on Saturday night, and while the Falcons did not detail the extent of the injury, the postgame comments of coach Arthur Smith did not sound promising. Mark Inabinett |, al, 22 Aug. 2021 The suits, each of which is more than 100 pages, detail extensive falsehoods and absurd claims about Dominion and the 2020 election. NBC News, 10 Aug. 2021 The conservative nonprofit obtained hundreds of pages of public records requests, which detail Pitt's interest in harvesting fetal organs for a project known as the GenitoUrinary Development Molecular Anatomy Project, or GUDMAP. Sam Dorman, Fox News, 7 Aug. 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near detail



detail drawing

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Statistics for detail

Last Updated

15 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Detail.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2021.

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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)
: to thoroughly clean (a car) in an attempt to make it look new
: 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

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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