detention

noun de·ten·tion \ di-ˈten-chən \
Updated on: 5 Dec 2017

Definition of detention

1 : the act or fact of detaining or holding back; especially : a holding in custody
2 : the state of being detained; especially : a period of temporary custody prior to disposition by a court

Examples of detention in a Sentence

  1. the detention of suspected terrorists

  2. The jail is only used for brief detentions.

  3. They both got three detentions this year.

  4. He got detention for being late to class.

Recent Examples of detention from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'detention.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of detention

Middle English detencion, from Anglo-French or Latin; Anglo-French, from Latin detention-, detentio, from detinēre to detain



DETENTION Defined for English Language Learners

detention

noun

Definition of detention for English Language Learners

  • : the act of keeping someone in a prison or similar place

  • : the state of being kept in a prison or similar place

  • : a punishment in which a student is required to stay at school after the rest of the students have left


DETENTION Defined for Kids

detention

noun de·ten·tion \ di-ˈten-chən \

Definition of detention for Students

1 : the act of holding back or delaying : the condition of being held or delayed
  • The prisoner was held in detention before trial.
2 : the punishment of being kept after school

Law Dictionary

detention

noun de·ten·tion

legal Definition of detention

1 : the act or fact of detaining or holding back; especially : a holding in custody
2 : the state of being detained; especially : a period of temporary custody prior to a trial or hearing — see also preventive detention


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