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

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 Wielding a metal detector, Bailey heard a ping on her first pass alongside a path. David Kindy, Smithsonian Magazine, 18 Nov. 2021 With everyone home safe, Ashlyn is now using her story to warn others about the dangers of carbon monoxide and the importance of installing a detector in the home. Joelle Goldstein,, 17 Nov. 2021 Pittsburgh: Justice was not blind when a lawyer dropped his pants after repeatedly setting off a metal detector at a courthouse. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 13 Nov. 2021 The friend who showed him the objects introduced him to a metal detector hobbyist, part of a network of treasure seekers who comb regions of Eastern Europe that were devastated during the war. Shira Hanau,, 3 Nov. 2021 This opened up the possibility that in addition to lightweight neutrinos oscillating between types, heavy neutrinos might be decaying inside the detector, accounting for its abundance of signals. Quanta Magazine, 28 Oct. 2021 In August, the committee announced the fine by the U.S. House sergeant-at-arms after Huizenga went around a metal detector leading onto the chamber floor. Todd Spangler, Detroit Free Press, 25 Oct. 2021 Wirecutter pinpointed five deals on home improvement products, and the list includes an HVAC filter, easy-to-install air conditioner and a leak detector built for smart homes. Jack Flemming, Los Angeles Times, 16 Oct. 2021 An upgraded metal detector with two lanes is so efficient that several people can walk through at once, Hurt said. Domenica Bongiovanni, The Indianapolis Star, 11 Oct. 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near detector



detector bar

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Statistics for detector

Last Updated

25 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Detector.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Nov. 2021.

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More Definitions for detector



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

More from Merriam-Webster on detector

Nglish: Translation of detector for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about detector


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