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

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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

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 Scientists first reported detections of methane on Mars a decade and a half ago using measurements from Mars Express, an orbiting spacecraft built by the European Space Agency and still in operation, as well as from telescopes on Earth. Martin Finucane,, "Did a rover on Mars just sniff out life?," 24 June 2019 Their move to take a stand on the issue follows pushback from Hollywood studios over restrictive laws targeting reproductive rights, such as Georgia's law that would ban abortions as early as six weeks, upon detection of a fetal heartbeat. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, "Abortion laws are "bad for business," nearly 200 CEOs say," 10 June 2019 It has been used for the detection of Ebola virus in West Africa, gene profiling of tumors, and quickly identifying the source of a salmonella outbreak, among others. Joshua Rapp Learn, National Geographic, "Handheld DNA tester can quickly identify illegal shark fins," 15 Apr. 2019 The first delivery halt was prompted by detection of debris in ten aircraft. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Air Force Stops Deliveries of Trash-Filled KC-46 Tankers Yet Again," 3 Apr. 2019 These methods could revolutionize early detection of gastrointestinal diseases such as Crohn’s disease, colon cancer and irritable bowel syndrome. Mark Barna, Discover Magazine, "State of Science: Swallowable Gut Sensors to Detect And Heal," 1 Jan. 2019 Police officials have generally credited the addition of more than 1,000 new officers to the streets in recent years as well as the use of gunshot-detection technology and predictive analytics for helping to stave off such crime. NBC News, "Chicago sees 52 shot, 10 killed in weekend of 'despicable' violence, officials say," 3 June 2019 According to mainstream models, to evade detection, superpartner particles would have to be much heavier than their twins, replacing an exact symmetry with something like a carnival mirror. Quanta Magazine, "As Supersymmetry Fails Tests, Physicists Seek New Ideas," 20 Nov. 2012

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

5 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for detection

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

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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.

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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).


characterized by aphorism

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