de·​tec·​tor | \ di-ˈtek-tər How to pronounce detector (audio) \

Definition of detector

: one that detects: such as
a : a device for detecting the presence of electromagnetic waves or of radioactivity
b : a rectifier of high-frequency current used especially for extracting the intelligence from a radio signal

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Synonyms for detector


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Examples of detector in a Sentence

using metal detectors to improve safety at airports a motion detector to thwart burglaries
Recent Examples on the Web Deputies also searched the area Monday for more evidence, using a metal detector to find possible bullet fragments. Jacob Beltran,, "More remains found in Southeast Bexar County in case tied to missing man," 2 Nov. 2020 Police searched the same field with a metal detector and combed it with a grid search, but never found the knife, casting doubt on Carlson’s claim. San Francisco Chronicle, "A confession, 36 years late," 22 Oct. 2020 On June 2, 2015, two metal-detector hobbyists aware of the area’s heritage, George Powell and Layton Davies, drove ninety minutes north of their homes, in South Wales, to the hamlet of Eye, about four miles outside Leominster. Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker, "The Curse of the Buried Treasure," 9 Nov. 2020 First Alert's dual-detector is here to save the day. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "How Asbestos—Yes, Asbestos—Could Fight Climate Change," 23 Oct. 2020 Preliminary hearings were held six months after Menna’s arrest, at the courthouse in rural Pawhuska, where toe tips of cowboy boots frequently set off the metal detector. Cara Kelly, USA Today, "He posed as a doctor and a wilderness expert. Behind the facade was an accused child molester.," 22 Oct. 2020 Medical checks—whether temperature-taking, verifying test results or, in the future, examining vaccination records—may become as common as walking through a metal detector. Scott Mccartney, WSJ, "Can Airport Covid Testing Get People Flying Again?," 7 Oct. 2020 Pablo Zarco-Tejada, a remote-sensing specialist at the University of Melbourne, and colleagues at the European Commission Joint Research Centre in Italy have test-flown a Xylella detector system over olive groves, with good results. Stephanie Pain, Smithsonian Magazine, "Why Tree-Killing Epidemics Are on the Rise," 28 Sep. 2020 Yet team members like Fruth, the photon detector specialist, are sanguine about the possibility of their life’s work netting nothing. Ryan Bradley, Popular Science, "Glimpse the gold mine where scientists are searching for dark matter," 27 Oct. 2020

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

1541, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for detector

Time Traveler

The first known use of detector was in 1541

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Last Updated

24 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Detector.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for detector


How to pronounce detector (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of detector

: a device that can tell if a substance or object is present : a device that detects the presence of something


de·​tec·​tor | \ di-ˈtek-tər How to pronounce detector (audio) \

Medical Definition of detector

: one that detects especially : a device for detecting the presence of electromagnetic waves or of radioactivity

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