detect

verb
de·​tect | \di-ˈtekt, dē-\

Definition of detect 

transitive verb

1 : to discover the true character of detecting drug smugglers

2 : to discover or determine the existence, presence, or fact of detect alcohol in the blood Do I detect a note of sarcasm in your voice?

intransitive verb

: to work as a detective

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Other Words from detect

detectability \-​ˌtek-​tə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē \ noun
detectable \-​ˈtek-​tə-​bəl \ adjective

Examples of detect in a Sentence

The test is used to detect the presence of alcohol in the blood. This type of cancer is difficult to detect in its early stages.

Recent Examples on the Web

But when questioned about it in recent years, Moscow officials have denied violating the treaty and demanded to know how the U.S. detected the apparent violation, the official said. Maria Danilova, The Seattle Times, "US makes case for withdrawal from missile treaty with Russia," 27 Nov. 2018 In terms of charging power, the Eclipse auto-detects your device's input to charge at as high a speed possible (maxing out at 7.8 amp). Brittney Morgan, House Beautiful, "This Is The Most Stylish Way To Store Your Chargers," 24 Oct. 2018 The facial recognition software technology companies are developing can identify a person in a crowd in real time, track someone’s movements, detect emotions, and predict behavior. Diana Budds, Curbed, "Facial recognition is becoming one of the 21st century’s biggest public space issues," 19 Oct. 2018 In the heat of battle, the US military might detect an incoming nuclear attack from North Korea and the president could decide to respond with a similar strike. Alex Ward, Vox, "This is exactly how a nuclear war would kill you," 19 Oct. 2018 At that time, the robotic laboratory also detected other organic molecules in a rock-powder sample collected by its drill. Fox News, "Massive Mars discovery: Organic molecules 'fundamental to our search for life' found by NASA rover," 2 Oct. 2018 The blood test accurately detected the disease 81 percent of the time. Macaela Mackenzie, Allure, "Melanoma Skin Cancer May Be Detected Early with a New Blood Test, Study Finds," 20 July 2018 Since the observatory was completed in 2010, IceCube scientists have detected dozens of high-energy neutrinos coming from outside the solar system. Author: Sarah Kaplan, Anchorage Daily News, "In a cosmic first, scientists detect ‘ghost particles’ from a distant galaxy," 12 July 2018 IceCube, a strange telescope made of deep glacial ice at the South Pole, has detected neutrinos from a distant, luminous galaxy. Mark Bowen, Scientific American, "Neutrinos on Ice: Astronomers' Long Hunt for Source of Extragalactic "Ghost Particles" Pays Off," 12 July 2018

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

1574, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for detect

Middle English, from Latin detectus, past participle of detegere to uncover, detect, from de- + tegere to cover — more at thatch

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Dictionary Entries near detect

detangle

detassel

detd

detect

detectaphone

detecter

detection

Statistics for detect

Last Updated

5 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for detect

The first known use of detect was in 1574

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More Definitions for detect

detect

verb

English Language Learners Definition of detect

: to discover or notice the presence of (something that is hidden or hard to see, hear, taste, etc.)

detect

verb
de·​tect | \di-ˈtekt \
detected; detecting

Kids Definition of detect

: to learn that something or someone is or was there detect smoke

Other Words from detect

detector \-​ˈtek-​tər \ noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on detect

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with detect

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for detect

Spanish Central: Translation of detect

Nglish: Translation of detect for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of detect for Arabic Speakers

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