de·​tec·​tion | \di-ˈtek-shən \

Definition of detection 

1 : the act of detecting : the state or fact of being detected

2 : the process of demodulating

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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

Last year, new Obama-era rules went into effect that seek to strengthen fraud-detection efforts in Medicaid managed care. Chad Terhune, Washington Post, "Insurers Fall Short In Catching And Reporting Medicaid Fraud, Inspectors Find," 12 July 2018 Our speed was calculated by a motion-detection system. William Finnegan, The New Yorker, "Can Andy Byford Save the Subways?," 2 July 2018 Its 693 phase-detection points and 425 contrast points boost autofocus speed, giving you sharp, finely detailed shots of moving subjects. Brendan Nystedt, WIRED, "Sony's Newest Mirrorless Camera Flaunts Its Sensor Smarts," 23 June 2018 But now, as described last month in a paper in the Annals of Oncology, there is an AI skin-cancer-detection system that can do better than most dermatologists. The Economist, "Artificial intelligence will improve medical treatments," 7 June 2018 Meet Ruger, the electronic-detection K9 Advertisement Meet Ruger, the newest member of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC). Jared Gilmour, miamiherald, "FBI raid revealed 30 cellphones. Sex offender used them to ‘cover his tracks,’ FBI says," 4 June 2018 Seeger and Quigley were allegedly spotted on store surveillance video tampering with gloves' theft-detection sensors. Michael Mcgough, sacbee, "Hilariously fake registration sticker leads to arrest of 2 sporting goods thieves," 4 June 2018 The New York City Police Department said that more than 1,000 officers, bomb-sniffing dogs, sharpshooters on rooftops and radiation-detection devices were used to secure the area surrounding the event, according to the Associated Press. Shiryn Solny, Jewish Journal, "Thousands cheer Israel's anniversary with signs, song and wonder," 4 June 2018 In the wall’s appliance-detection mode, the power is turned off, and the electrodes act as an antenna to passively pick up electromagnetic waves emitted by nearby devices. Prachi Patel, Scientific American, "How to Convert Your Wall into a Giant Touch Screen," 1 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of detection

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for detection

Last Updated

8 Nov 2018

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

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English Language Learners Definition of detection

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


de·​tec·​tion | \di-ˈtek-shən \

Kids Definition of detection

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

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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).


to express warning or disapproval

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