de·tain·ee | \di-ˌtā-ˈnē, ˌdē-\

Definition of detainee 

: a person held in custody especially for political reasons

Examples of detainee in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Sarah and Brendan Burrow just returned from doing volunteer work with detainees near the U.S.-Mexico border in Dilley, Texas. Faith E. Pinho, Indianapolis Star, "Indianapolis attorney returns from border with stories she could not 'fathom'," 12 July 2018 Hojabri was with other detainees accused of the same crime. Katherine Lam, Fox News, "Iranian woman arrested after posting Instagram video of her dancing, prompting outrage among users," 10 July 2018 Those prohibitions do not apply to detainees held on serious criminal charges or to cases in which federal agents have obtained a judicial warrant. Bob Egelko,, "California’s sanctuary laws at a glance," 5 July 2018 The absence of any plan to deal with the detainees is part of the wider disorder in the lands liberated from the jihadists. Ben Hubbard, New York Times, "Wives and Children of ISIS: Warehoused in Syria, Unwanted Back Home," 4 July 2018 She and other minors in custody were required to share private quarters with adult detainees. Jenn M. Jackson, Teen Vogue, "Separating Children From Parents is Shocking And Inhumane — It Is Also An American Tradition," 22 June 2018 Indeed some recent detainees are infants, taken from their mothers. Author: Garance Burke, Martha Mendoza, Anchorage Daily News, "Youngest migrants held in ‘tender age’ shelters," 20 June 2018 Kaptur also visited an ICE center Monday to meet with detainees from a recent raid of Corso's Flower and Garden Center in Sandusky, Ohio. Marilyn Icsman,, "What Ohio lawmakers think about families being separated at the border," 18 June 2018 On the East Coast, Democratic members of Congress from New Jersey and New York met with immigration detainees separated from children at the southwest border who are now being held at a New Jersey immigration facility. Carolyn Mcatee Cerbin, USA TODAY, "What the first ladies have to say about 'zero tolerance' immigration policy," 17 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'detainee.' 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 detainee

circa 1928, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for detainee

Last Updated

8 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for detainee

The first known use of detainee was circa 1928

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More Definitions for detainee



English Language Learners Definition of detainee

: a person who is being kept in a prison especially for political reasons : a person who is being detained


de·tain·ee | \di-ˌtā-ˈnē \

Legal Definition of detainee 

: a person who is detained especially : a person held in custody prior to trial or hearing

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