de·​tain·​er | \ di-ˈtā-nər How to pronounce detainer (audio) \

Definition of detainer

1 : the act of keeping something in one's possession specifically : the withholding from the rightful owner of something that has lawfully come into the possession of the holder
2 : detention in custody
3 : a writ authorizing the keeper of a prison to continue to hold a person in custody

Examples of detainer in a Sentence

keep him in detainer for at least 72 hours she filed an action for unlawful detainer of land after nonpayment of rent
Recent Examples on the Web Immigration and Customs Enforcement have lodged a detainer with Queens Central Booking. Michael Ruiz, Fox News, 22 Apr. 2022 He is being held on $10,000 cash bail and a federal detainer, police said. Adam Sennott,, 2 Jan. 2022 Marshal Marty Keely said the agency is in possession of a receipt that the detainer notices were signed and marked received by a deputy that day. Carol Robinson |, al, 17 Dec. 2021 An Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer was also placed on Ventura, though his immigration status was not immediately known. Jacob Beltran, San Antonio Express-News, 28 Sep. 2021 The Rent Board does not provide public data on unlawful detainer lawsuits, which landlords often file after an eviction notice if a tenant has not yet vacated a building. Susie Neilson, San Francisco Chronicle, 14 Sep. 2021 In Maryland, there are four types of eviction cases: failure to pay, tenant holding over, breach of lease and wrongful detainer. Billy Jean Louis,, 1 Sep. 2021 Unlawful detainer is the most common type of eviction in Arkansas. Tess Vrbin, Arkansas Online, 25 July 2021 And the practice is Border Patrol places a detainer on them. Robert T. Garrett, Dallas News, 3 Sep. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'detainer.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of detainer

1619, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for detainer

Anglo-French detenour, alteration of detenir

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The first known use of detainer was in 1619

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Last Updated

5 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Detainer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for detainer


de·​tain·​er | \ di-ˈtā-nər How to pronounce detainer (audio) \

Legal Definition of detainer

1 : the act of keeping something in one's possession specifically : unlawful detainer
2 : detention in custody
3 : a notification sent by a prosecutor, judge, or other official advising a prison official that a prisoner is wanted to answer criminal charges and requesting continued detention of the prisoner or notification of the prisoner's impending release — compare extradition

History and Etymology for detainer

Anglo-French detenoure, from detenir to restrain, detain, from Old French, from Latin detinere


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