detention

noun
de·​ten·​tion | \ di-ˈten-chən How to pronounce detention (audio) \

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

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Examples of detention in a Sentence

the detention of suspected terrorists The jail is only used for brief detentions. They both got three detentions this year. He got detention for being late to class.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Prosecutors had sought one year in prison for De Sousa, whose lawyer sought probation or home detention. David Mcfadden, The Seattle Times, "Ex-police boss gets 10-month prison sentence for tax fraud," 29 Mar. 2019 Further evidence that Rome's mounting cover-up scandal is going global: Several weeks ago, an Australian bishop was convicted and sentenced to a year of home detention for failing to report a pedophile to police. John Leicester, Fox News, "In France, rebel priest takes on church bosses on sex abuse," 6 Sep. 2018 Archbishop Wilson is expected to serve his sentence under home detention, if a court agrees to the arrangement. Adam Baidawi, New York Times, "Archbishop Philip Wilson Is Sentenced for Sexual Abuse Cover-Up in Australia," 2 July 2018 Carlos Ghosn, the former Nissan chairman, posted bail of nearly $9 million and was released from a Tokyo detention center more than three months after his arrest. Peter Landers, WSJ, "Carlos Ghosn, Dressed as a Workman, Leaves Tokyo Jail on Bail After 108-Day Detention," 6 Mar. 2019 The weekslong detention of Carlos Ghosn is a case in point. Alastair Gale, WSJ, "Carlos Ghosn Offers to Accept Camera Surveillance in Bid for Bail," 4 Mar. 2019 Meng’s detention, together with Washington’s actions vis-à-vis other international incidents and events including the death of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi Arabian journalist, reflects the US’ disrespect for both reason and international law. Shannon Liao, The Verge, "Huawei’s CFO is granted bail by Canadian court but will be closely monitored," 11 Dec. 2018 At worst, the administration is undermining its own argument that long-term detention is preferable. Dara Lind, Vox, "The Trump administration reportedly wants to try family separation again," 12 Oct. 2018 Immigration advocates say thousands of children remain in limbo, staying in foster homes or detention centers while waiting to be reunited with their parents. Darcy Costello, The Courier-Journal, "'#AbolishICE,' urges vandalized Louisville billboard amid protests," 4 July 2018

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.

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First Known Use of detention

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for detention

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

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Statistics for detention

Last Updated

16 May 2019

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Time Traveler for detention

The first known use of detention was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for detention

detention

noun

English Language Learners Definition of detention

: 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

noun
de·​ten·​tion | \ di-ˈten-chən How to pronounce detention (audio) \

Kids Definition of detention

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

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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Comments on detention

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