de·​tain·​ee | \ di-ˌtā-ˈnē How to pronounce detainee (audio) , ˌdē- \

Definition of detainee

: a person held in custody especially for political reasons

Examples of detainee in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Enraged by such a lockdown, fellow detainee Jeremiah Shane Farmer slipped into Kelly’s cell in August 2020 and beat him repeatedly in the head, according to records. Jason Meisner, Chicago Tribune, 13 July 2022 Each arriving detainee must test negative for the virus within 48 hours before being allowed inside the Farmville facility, according to the settlement. Antonio Olivo, Washington Post, 11 July 2022 Whelan was left out of a prisoner exchange in April that brought home yet another detainee, Marine veteran Trevor Reed. John Bacon, USA TODAY, 8 June 2022 And even if every detainee were charged and/or released, there would still be the matter of paying reparations to the hundreds of innocent individuals who were held unjustly in awful conditions for years. Jordan Michael Smith, The New Republic, 6 July 2022 The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled for the U.S. government in a case involving a Guantanamo Bay detainee seeking what the government said is secret information. Fox News, 3 Mar. 2022 The International Committee of the Red Cross plays a crucial and nearly exclusive role in conflicts around the world mediating between combatants on matters such as arranging prisoner swaps and monitoring detainee conditions. Jamey Keaten, ajc, 5 May 2022 Instead, the Southern Command, in consultation with the intelligence agencies, decided to move the men to Guantánamo’s main detainee complex. New York Times, 21 Apr. 2022 Jackson's four detainee clients were not convicted and were eventually released from Guantanamo. Alex Rogers, CNN, 4 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of detainee

circa 1928, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for detainee

Time Traveler

The first known use of detainee was circa 1928

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Last Updated

3 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Detainee.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for detainee


de·​tain·​ee | \ di-ˌtā-ˈnē How to pronounce detainee (audio) \

Legal Definition of detainee

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


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