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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Prosecutors said the Maxwell has offered no reason why she should be treated differently than other federal defendants being held in pre-trial detention. Fox News, "Ghislaine Maxwell wrapped her phone in tin foil in bid to evade law enforcement, feds say," 14 July 2020 Lawyers representing immigrant families in detention filed a complaint with the Department of Homeland Security on Sunday alleging that ICE has failed to provide adequate medical care for their clients. NBC News, "Immigrant parents denied adequate medical care, should be released with their children, lawyers say," 12 July 2020 The embassy said criminals are dealt with according to Chinese law, mentioning drug smuggling and espionage — crimes for which Australians are currently in Chinese detention. Washington Post, "China dismisses Australian warning of arbitrary detention," 8 July 2020 The families in detention are awaiting civil immigration proceedings and have not been convicted of crimes. Silvia Foster-frau, ExpressNews.com, "ICE expected to provide plan for releasing migrant children," 8 July 2020 All federal prisons, including border detention centers, would also be closed under the legislation. Madison Dibble, Washington Examiner, "Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib support proposed legislation to defund local police and ICE," 8 July 2020 But the celebrations for the acquitted activists were short lived, after prosecutors announced Kavala would remain in detention. Isil Sariyuce, Sheena Mckenzie And Emma Reynolds, CNN, "Turkey convicts human rights activists on terror charges," 3 July 2020 Violating the conditions of that release could land him in detention. Sophie Carson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Community activist Vaun Mayes arrested on allegations of burglary as a party to a crime," 30 June 2020 Haskel and two others refused the conditions and remained in detention. Tia Goldenberg, BostonGlobe.com, "Israeli court releases anti-Netanyahu activist after arrest," 28 June 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about detention

Time Traveler for detention

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for detention

Last Updated

30 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Detention.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/detention. Accessed 6 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for detention

detention

noun
How to pronounce detention (audio)

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on detention

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

July 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • papercraft sunset
  • Which is a synonym of mien?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!