detect

verb
de·​tect | \ di-ˈtekt How to pronounce detect (audio) , dē- \
detected; detecting; detects

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

Other Words from detect

detectability \ di-​ˌtek-​tə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce detect (audio) , dē-​ \ noun
detectable \ di-​ˈtek-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce detect (audio) , dē-​ \ 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 That study wasn’t large enough to detect any extremely rare side effects, such as the heart inflammation that occasionally occurs after the second full-strength dose, mostly in young men and teen boys. cleveland, 3 Nov. 2021 Submarines are difficult, though not impossible, to detect. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 28 Oct. 2021 The platform is also useful for diagnostics, including coronavirus and defense funding to detect emerging biological threats. Robert Hart, Forbes, 26 Oct. 2021 Smaller leaks were expected to take up to 50 minutes to detect, according to the response plan. Brian Melley, Matthew Brown And Stefanie Dazio, Anchorage Daily News, 5 Oct. 2021 Smaller leaks were expected to take up to 50 minutes to detect, according to the response plan. John Bacon, USA TODAY, 5 Oct. 2021 Smaller leaks were expected to take up to 50 minutes to detect, according to the response plan. NBC News, 5 Oct. 2021 Rapid tests take under 15 minutes to detect covid by pinpointing proteins, called antigens. Hannah Norman, Quartz, 14 Sep. 2021 Rapid tests take under 15 minutes to detect covid by pinpointing proteins, called antigens. The Salt Lake Tribune, 13 Sep. 2021

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

detd

detect

detectaphone

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Statistics for detect

Last Updated

21 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Detect.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/detect. Accessed 1 Dec. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce detect (audio) \
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

More from Merriam-Webster on detect

Nglish: Translation of detect for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of detect for Arabic Speakers

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