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

So figuring out whether a bottom quark detected in the LHC came from a decaying Higgs boson or from somewhere else proved extremely difficult. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Researchers Find More Evidence for the Higgs Boson," 10 July 2018 That means their cancers aren’t being detected as early, which diminishes their chances of surviving the disease. Julia Belluz, Vox, "We’re making real progress against cancer. But you may not know it if you’re poor.," 8 Jan. 2019 Yet the study itself enrolled subjects before PSA screening had become commonplace and cases were routinely detected in the earlier stages. Peter Loftus, WSJ, "Surgery Adds Three Years to Lives of Prostate-Cancer Patients, Study Finds," 12 Dec. 2018 The Myanmar virus is the first of its kind to be detected on a global scale. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "A Never-Before-Seen Virus Has Been Detected in Myanmar’s Bats," 11 July 2018 San Diego County had its own scare in February 2017, when high levels of lead were detected at three campuses in San Ysidro School District. Lauryn Schroeder, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Does your school have lead in its drinking water?," 5 July 2018 When moisture is detected, an alarm will sound, and ideally your child will be able to stop the stream of urine and go to the toilet to finish. Mary Caldwell, ajc, "7 ways to bed-wetting to rest for your child," 2 July 2018 The idea stemmed from the belief that the urinary tract (which includes the bladder) was understood to be sterile, most likely because the techniques used for detecting bacteria in this area were limited. Korin Miller, SELF, "Is It Sanitary to Pee in the Shower or Should You Stop Immediately?," 7 Feb. 2019 The intrusion was detected in April by an NRCC vendor, who alerted the committee and its cybersecurity contractor. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Google’s appearance before Congress will mark a turning point for its CEO," 5 Dec. 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

14 Mar 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

Comments on detect

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