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

The sniper detection device won’t be very useful to a vehicle operating in the rear. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "China's 'Terminator' Tank Support Vehicle Is Bristling With Weaponry," 7 Nov. 2018 First, Chicago deployed crime-prediction software, gunshot-detection devices and dozens of surveillance cameras that pour data into station-level processing hubs called Strategic Decision Support Centers. Jon Schuppe And Andrew Blankstein /, NBC News, "Chicago's gun-torn South Side sees reason for hope as shootings drop," 9 May 2018 The state now has cellphone detection devices at all prisons and frisks almost everyone who enters. Gavin Off And Ames Alexander, charlotteobserver, "High-ranking Crip 'wooed' NC prison officer. The FBI ended their romance. | Charlotte Observer," 26 Mar. 2018 Right now, the few portable gene-detection devices on the market are either cost-prohibitive—ranging from $2,000 to $8,000 for the device and around $100 per test—or the tests don’t have the species specificity that law enforcement requires. Virginia Gewin, The Atlantic, "A Handheld DNA Scanner Could Crack Down on Wildlife Identity Theft," 9 Feb. 2018 Not only do the ECG and fall-detection features help Apple further realize its goal of creating a device that truly helps users to be healthier and safer, but the Series 4 improves upon everything that the Series 3 did right. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "Our favorite (and least favorite) tech of 2018," 26 Dec. 2018 Within 1 minute of the detection, the facility sent out an automatic notification, alerting other astronomers to the find and relaying coordinates to the patch of sky that seemed to house the particle's source. Mike Wall, NBC News, "High-energy 'ghost particle' traced to distant galaxy in astronomy breakthrough," 12 July 2018 The National Science and Technology Council released a report Wednesday calling for improved asteroid detection, tracking and deflection. Marcia Dunn,, "U.S. stepping up Earth's protection from asteroids, comets," 26 June 2018 The Apple Watch Series 4 stood out among previous models and competing smartwatches, thanks to the new ECG features and the new fall-detection feature. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Apple’s anticipated ECG app rolls out today in watchOS 5.1.2," 6 Dec. 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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Last Updated

18 Jan 2019

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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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