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

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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 The lawsuit argues those memoranda have led immigration officials to rescind detainer requests and not to issue detainers for individuals subject to mandatory removal. Carly Ortiz-lytle, Washington Examiner, "Texas and Louisiana file suit against Biden administration over release of 'dangerous and violent' illegal immigrants," 7 Apr. 2021 The Florence County Sheriff’s Office confirmed on Tuesday that Marquis is being held on a detainer because he is wanted in Baltimore. Jessica Anderson,, "Man wanted in connection with Baltimore MTA driver’s killing arrested in South Carolina, records show," 6 Apr. 2021 Sassounian has an active ICE detainer, the report noted, and is subject to deportation if released on parole. Los Angeles Times, "After nearly 40 years, man who assassinated Turkish consul in L.A. is getting parole," 12 Mar. 2021 As of Friday afternoon, 4,402 cases had been filed under Arkansas' unlawful detainer statute since the start of the pandemic in March last year. Ginny Monk, Arkansas Online, "State eviction law drawing challenge," 1 Mar. 2021 In September, Philadelphia police ignored a detainer request, ultimately leading to his release back into the community, said Wolf. Robert Gearty, Fox News, "ICE arrests 176 in Operation Rise sanctuary city crackdown," 16 Oct. 2020 His landlord filed an unlawful detainer lawsuit in Pulaski County Circuit Court on Sept. 2. Ginny Monk, Arkansas Online, "State eviction law drawing challenge," 1 Mar. 2021 Before the murder, ICE lodged several detainer requests against him that were never honored. Fox News, "California officials defy ICE detainer, release convicted child murderer," 15 Dec. 2020 He also was being held on a federal immigration detainer. Tom Steele, Dallas News, "Man stabbed, drowned his roommate in bathtub, Carrollton police say," 19 Jan. 2021

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.

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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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Time Traveler for detainer

Time Traveler

The first known use of detainer was in 1619

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Statistics for detainer

Last Updated

18 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Detainer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Apr. 2021.

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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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