de·​tec·​tion | \ di-ˈtek-shən How to pronounce detection (audio) \

Definition of detection

1 : the act of detecting : the state or fact of being detected
2 : the process of demodulating

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of detection in a Sentence

I don't know how the errors managed to avoid detection for so long. my detection of the scent of baked apple pie led me to the kitchen

Recent Examples on the Web

The hack of Yahoo in 2014 involved roughly 500 million people. Hackers often root through computer networks for years without detection. Kimberly Chin, WSJ, "Marriott Says Starwood Data Breach Affects Up to 500 Million People," 30 Nov. 2018 Single-molecule detection is, basically, the limit for diagnosis. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Big transistor senses the arrival of a single molecule," 29 Oct. 2018 The face detection is reliable enough that vloggers can probably get away with holding the camera toward them with a wide lens and shooting blind, but that’s nowhere near as good as having a monitor to glance at. Chris Welch, The Verge, "Fujifilm X-T3 review: the do-everything camera," 24 Oct. 2018 In another, testers were able to download over 100 gigabytes of data from severs without detection. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "New Report Finds DOD "Could Be Pretty Easily Hacked"," 9 Oct. 2018 In February the firm received approval from regulators in the United States to sell its software for the detection, from brain scans, of strokes caused by a blockage in a large blood vessel. The Economist, "Artificial intelligence will improve medical treatments," 7 June 2018 But the cellphone alerting system was in the hands of state authorities; the detection of missile launches is the responsibility of the U.S. Strategic Command and Northern Command. Johanna Barr, The Seattle Times, "Mistaken missile warning panics Hawaii," 13 Jan. 2018 Early detection and treatment often lower the odds of these complications. Korin Miller, SELF, "How Does Cancer Actually Kill Someone?," 15 Mar. 2019 The British government vowed to step up detection and enforcement, while makers of counterdrone systems experienced an upsurge in customer interest. Andy Pasztor, WSJ, "Alphabet Unit Tests New System to Identify Airborne Drones," 13 Jan. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'detection.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of detection

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about detection

Statistics for detection

Last Updated

12 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for detection

The first known use of detection was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for detection



English Language Learners Definition of detection

: the act or process of discovering, finding, or noticing something


de·​tec·​tion | \ di-ˈtek-shən How to pronounce detection (audio) \

Kids Definition of detection

: the act of learning that something or someone is or was there : discovery The clever thief escaped detection.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on detection

What made you want to look up detection? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


likely to have or produce good results

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!