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

In May, 12 people were arrested in Spain in connection to a cocaine-smuggling ring that mixed the drug with industrial plastic pellets in a bid to avoid detection. Fox News, "Colombian man busted trying to smuggle cocaine under his wig," 17 July 2019 Cleveland attempted to use his credentials to avoid detection at the checkpoint, authorities said. Meagan Flynn, Anchorage Daily News, "Two active-duty US Marines allegedly smuggled undocumented Mexican immigrants," 9 July 2019 The tribute looped from Angels pitcher ’s hand at an undetermined speed, slow enough to avoid detection from the Minute Maid Park radar gun, but distinct enough to leave no doubt. Andy Mccullough,, "Andrew Heaney pays tribute to Tyler Skaggs in Angels’ loss to Astros," 6 July 2019 While older aircraft had survived simply by outrunning Soviet defenses, the new B-1 would avoid detection altogether, slipping into enemy territory by flying low to the ground, where radar would have trouble distinguishing it from terrain. Alex Hollings, Popular Mechanics, "Why the B-1 Bomber Is Such a Badass Plane," 2 July 2019 During Prohibition, moonshiners lit its clear-burning wood to avoid detection from revenuers. Robert Langellier, National Geographic, "A legendary Ozark chestnut tree, thought extinct, is rediscovered," 24 June 2019 Patterson made elaborate plans to take her and avoid detection. CBS News, "Jayme Closs: Hometown Hero," 8 June 2019 An investigation revealed the driver initially provided deputies with false identifying information to avoid detection of two outstanding warrants. Rachel Spacek, The Mercury News, "Saratoga crime report for the week of June 14," 6 June 2019 Data from the detection was used to create a map showing the point of origin. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "A mysterious fast radio burst was traced to a galaxy 3.6 billion light-years away," 27 June 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

19 Jul 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).


an act or instance of editing or removing

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
True or False

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

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!