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

The Bears are also adding metal detectors to the Memorial Stadium entry points. Jon Wilner, The Mercury News, "Hotline newsletter: Yes, Sports Illustrated ranked Stanford’s fake Tree over Colorado’s real buffalo (and loads more)," 16 Aug. 2019 The metal detectors and concrete barriers were eventually taken away, and all entrances are unlocked during the day. Patrick Marley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Senate leader open to expanding grounds guns can be confiscated from the dangerous, wants more security at state Capitol," 13 Aug. 2019 The children are too young to be spooked by a metal detector and armed guards at the entrance. Los Angeles Times, "Four Hours: Exploring the newly relocated kids’ museum, now in Santa Monica," 9 Aug. 2019 Although security for the festival was strict, including metal detectors and bag searches, the suspect was able to bypass officials by entering from a creek area and cutting through the fence. Catherine Kim, Vox, "Vox Sentences: Another mass shooting," 30 July 2019 Police said they were called to Grant Park in Northlake July 2 to investigate a report that a man was using a metal detector and digging holes throughout the park. Jennifer Fisher,, "Women told police man head-butted her, spread feces in her home," 9 July 2019 The Council of Large Public Housing Authorities and the Public Housing Authorities Directors Association signed on recently, after the funding for installing the detectors was increased. NBC News, "House committee passes $300 million bill requiring carbon monoxide detectors in public housing," 27 June 2019 After the shooting spree, Tarrant County officials installed metal detectors and X-ray machines at all entrances to county buildings. David Tarrant Kevin Krause, Dallas News, "Courthouse security stepped up after deadly shootings in the '90s," 17 June 2019 New Trier High School in Chicago's northern suburbs is considering installing vaping detectors in bathrooms. Author: Kate Zernike, Anchorage Daily News, "Devices to quit smoking become the devices teenagers can’t quit," 2 Apr. 2018

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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Statistics for detector

Last Updated

2 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for detector

The first known use of detector was in 1541

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on detector

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with detector

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for detector

Spanish Central: Translation of detector

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

Comments on detector

What made you want to look up detector? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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