detail

noun
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

detail

verb
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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from detail

Verb

detailer noun

Synonyms for detail

Synonyms: Noun

item, particular, point

Synonyms: Verb

post, station

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for detail

Noun

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

Few details were provided on Trevorrow's exit, but the announcement suspiciously coincided with the colossal failure of his film The Book of Henry. Adam Schubak, Popular Mechanics, "Everything We Know So Far About 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker'," 12 Apr. 2019 And sometimes less is more because then you don’t get hung up on a particular detail. Joanna Saltz, House Beautiful, "Designers Reveal Their Unexpected Sources for Decorating Inspo," 12 Apr. 2019 Here, Juli Capella, a founding partner of Capella Garcia Arquitectura, walks us through the details and inspiration behind his work. Vanessa Lawrence, ELLE Decor, "A Mecca of Spanish Design and Food Opens in New York," 3 Apr. 2019 The person analyzing your form will look at your posture, your balance, and finer details like how your hips and shoulders are rotating and your cadence. Amy Marturana, SELF, "Here’s What Proper Running Form Actually Is and How Much You Should Care About It," 2 Apr. 2019 There are also some wonkier details about the extremely dubious handicap Trump plays with (the lower the handicap, the better the player) and how Trump uncouthly likes to drive his golf cart on the course. Bridget Read, Vogue, "Apparently Samuel L. Jackson Has Seen Donald Trump Cheat at Golf," 1 Apr. 2019 Now, Donnie Wahlberg, who plays Danny Reagan on the show, is revealing more details about the big day. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "Donnie Wahlberg Reveals the 'Blue Bloods' Episode That Will Be 'Emotional' Without Linda," 30 Mar. 2019 According to Battle, Markle's Toronto home was very light, bright, and effortless, a look which was accented with more formal details and glamour. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Nursery Could Look Like This," 26 Mar. 2019 Average winter low temperatures, of course, obscure important details about how climate change is affecting winters, like how the cold is distributed throughout the season. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Winters are warming faster than summers. These US cities could lose weeks of freezing days by 2050.," 21 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The Gala and the exhibition are framed around Susan Sontag’s essay, Notes On Camp, which details the inner-workings of what camp is and what camp is not. Scarlett Newman, Teen Vogue, "Watch HauteLeMode Explain the Met Gala 2019 Theme of Camp," 16 Apr. 2019 Cybersecurity experts at Trend Micro have shared an upcoming paper with Forbes that details the various ways in which commercial cranes are extremely susceptible to hacking attempts. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "Industrial Cranes Are Disturbingly Hackable," 16 Jan. 2019 The bill requires an annual report that details any settlements that have been made in the House or the Senate related to harassment and retaliation. Li Zhou, Vox, "Congress’s recently passed sexual harassment bill, explained," 20 Dec. 2018 The film, which details the relationship and struggles of a mother-son relationship dealing with substance abuse, brought out the likes of Bryan Lourd, Diane Sawyer, and Zosia Mamet. Vogue, "Julia Roberts, Lucas Hedges, and More Bring the Tears at the Ben is Back Premiere," 4 Dec. 2018 Today, its shares dropped 10 percent to a new all-time low of $6 per share following its less-than-stellar earnings report, which detailed a 2 million daily active user drop attributed to poor Android app performance. Shannon Liao, The Verge, "Snapchat will debut a longform sci-fi thriller story told in a series of texts," 26 Oct. 2018 The government was able to warrantlessly obtain 127 days' worth of his CSLI from his mobile provider, which detailed precisely where Carpenter had been during that time. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "NSA metadata program “consistent” with Fourth Amendment, Kavanaugh once argued," 9 Sep. 2018 Federal prosecutors detailed a more than $25 million scam to help wealthy families bribe their way into elite colleges. Jon Kamp, WSJ, "Parents in College-Admissions Case Discuss Plea Deals With Prosecutors," 29 Mar. 2019 In an essay for The New Yorker, Clarke detailed her experience with two brain aneurysms and multiple surgeries, the first of which occurred in 2011, not long after landing the role of her dreams. Korin Miller, SELF, "'Game of Thrones' Star Emilia Clarke Reveals She Survived 2 Aneurysms," 22 Mar. 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.

See More

First Known Use of detail

Noun

1603, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

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

Keep scrolling for more

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for detail

detail

noun

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

detail

verb

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

detail

noun
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

detail

verb
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

Keep scrolling for more

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).

WORD OF THE DAY

to affect and impair by alcohol or a drug

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!