detective

adjective
de·tec·tive | \ di-ˈtek-tiv \

Definition of detective 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : fitted for or used in detecting something had perfected his detective sensibilities

2 : of or relating to detectives or their work a detective novel

detective

noun

Definition of detective (Entry 2 of 2)

: one employed or engaged in detecting lawbreakers or in getting information that is not readily or publicly accessible

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Other words from detective

Adjective

detectivelike \-ˌlīk \ adjective

Examples of detective in a Sentence

Adjective

We had to do some detective work to find out who used to own the property. He enjoys reading detective novels.

Noun

She is a detective on the police force. Detective Sgt. Lee is working on the case. She hired a detective to follow her husband.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Pat was a voracious reader, devouring everything from detective novels to biographies, and was extremely appreciative of the Windsor Public Library. Hartford Courant, courant.com, "Patricia Alves," 21 June 2018 Mark Wahlberg and Peter Berg have set their next project with Netflix movie Wonderland, an adaptation from Robert B. Parker's detective novel series. Mia Galuppo, The Hollywood Reporter, "Mark Wahlberg, Peter Berg Reteam for 'Wonderland' at Netflix," 26 June 2018 In the latest installment, Gonzales highlights Rhode Island Red, a detective novel written by Charlotte Carter. Danielle Jackson, Longreads, "Series Exhumes Out-of-Print Books by Black Authors," 14 June 2018 Well, Westworld is a puzzle, and so self-aware about that fact that the rollout for Season 2 featured an elaborate tease for the show’s Redditor-detective fan base involving rickrolling and 21 minutes of a dog sitting at a piano. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "The Promethean Puzzles of Westworld," 22 Apr. 2018 Anyone with information is asked to call the Akron Police Department's detective bureau at 330-375-2490. Evan Macdonald, cleveland.com, "Akron man fatally shot in city's Middlebury neighborhood," 17 Apr. 2018 By then the Millars had settled in Santa Barbara, Calif., and Kenneth had begun writing detective novels too, eventually using the pen name Ross Macdonald. Tom Nolan, WSJ, "‘Collected Millar’ Review: She Kept Us in Suspense," 13 Apr. 2018 Anyone with information about the truck or the man is asked to call the police department detective bureau at 203-254-4840 or text ‘FPD’ plus your tip to CRIMES (274637). Christine Dempsey, courant.com, "Fairfield Police: Watch For "Stocky" Knifepoint Robber," 2 Apr. 2018 Anyone with information about the teens is asked to call the Akron Police Department's detective bureau at 330-375-2490. Evan Macdonald, cleveland.com, "Woman attacked by teens while calling 911 to report large fight at Akron park," 30 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The suspect fled in a black Hyundai onto Tobey Road, and a detective soon pulled such a car over. Emily Sweeney, BostonGlobe.com, "The creatures of summer, from cows to Pokemon, hit the streets," 13 July 2018 Investigators verified that there had been a retirement party for a detective that day, DiPietro said. Tonya Alanez, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Deputies were at a party when Fort Lauderdale airport shooting began, says widow's lawsuit," 12 July 2018 Lizzie herself is third wife to a creepy Scotland Yard detective (Karl Hamilton) whose first two wives died under mysterious circumstances. Mike Fischer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Door County theaters add stories and sparkle to summer nights," 11 July 2018 As of Tuesday, detectives have yet to establish a motive for the killing, according to a police spokesman. Jeremy Gorner, chicagotribune.com, "Pastor laments son's senseless killing: 'These people are tearing families apart'," 4 July 2018 Within 12 hours, Hartford detectives had their suspect in custody. David Owens, courant.com, "Hartford Homicide Captured On Video," 25 June 2018 According to the documents reviewed by ExpressNews.com, detectives don't have a full picture of how much the Russells may have embezzled and outright stolen. Caleb Downs, San Antonio Express-News, "Husband, wife accused of embezzling $150K in donations to Gonzales County EMS," 6 June 2018 The dog detective is on the case in this cheerful, book-boosting caper for readers ages 3-6. Meghan Cox Gurdon, WSJ, "Children’s Books: So Much to See—and Talk About," 12 July 2018 The upcoming action thriller centers on a disgraced NYPD detective, portrayed by Boseman, who is given a shot at redemption after a citywide manhunt for a cop killer. Niki Mcgloster, Essence.com, "The Quick Read: London Breed Officially Sworn In As San Francisco’s First Black Female Mayor," 12 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'detective.' 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 detective

Adjective

1732, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1849, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for detective

Last Updated

17 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for detective

The first known use of detective was in 1732

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More Definitions for detective

detective

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of detective

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: done in order to find out hidden or unknown information

: of or relating to crimes and detectives

detective

noun

English Language Learners Definition of detective (Entry 2 of 2)

: a police officer whose job is to find information about crimes that have occurred and to catch criminals

: a person whose job is to find information about something or someone

detective

noun
de·tec·tive | \ di-ˈtek-tiv \

Kids Definition of detective

1 : a police officerwho investigates crimes and catches criminals

2 : a person whose job is to find information about someone or something

detective

noun
de·tec·tive

Legal Definition of detective 

: a person engaged or employed in detecting lawbreakers or in getting information that is not readily or publicly accessible a police detective hired a private detective

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Comments on detective

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