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

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Other Words from detect

detectability \ di-​ˌtek-​tə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce detectability (audio) , dē-​ \ noun
detectable \ di-​ˈtek-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce detectable (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

Trophy uses a ring of radars to detect incoming anti-tank weapons, tracking and then shooting them down with shotgun-like kinetic weapon system. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Israel's 'Namer' Infrantry Vehicle Could Be a Glimpse of the U.S. Army's Future," 13 Dec. 2018 The result, though, was spectacular: the researchers were unable to detect any positron loss during the trapping process. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Technical tour-de-force traps positrons," 11 Dec. 2018 While the issue is resolved for now in Salem, the residents of Wilsonville and nearby Sherwood are waiting to hear whether the cyanotoxins detected Friday in their water, which is drawn from the Willamette River, would require a health advisory. Molly Harbarger, OregonLive.com, "Salem lifts water advisory after tests confirm drop in toxin levels," 3 June 2018 One company dog is currently in training to detect weapons in schools and other places of business, as well. Saryn Chorney, PEOPLE.com, "For $200, Kansas City Parents Can Rent a Drug Sniffing Dog to Raid Their Teen's Bedroom," 23 May 2018 The jeans were still sent out for testing, which found no semen but did detect male DNA — a situation consistent, according to Marshall’s (unrebutted) DNA expert, with their having been washed. John H. Tucker, Daily Intelligencer, "Rape at Rosie’s," 26 June 2018 Seismologists in Chile also shared on social media that their sensors also detected an artificial temblor, according to USA Today. Maria Pasquini, PEOPLE.com, "So Shook: Earthquake Sensors Set Off by Thrilled World Cup Fans After Mexico's Victory," 18 June 2018 Kaspersky said that the ShadowHammer attack had been detected worldwide, most commonly in Russia and Germany, with about five percent of victims in the United States. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Update: Asus issues fix for ShadowHammer attack, and a tool to detect if your PC was affected," 26 Mar. 2019 But the prognosis typically depends on when the cancer is detected. Korin Miller, SELF, "Why Is the 5-Year Survival Rate for Ovarian Cancer So Low?," 21 Nov. 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

9 May 2019

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 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

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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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