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

Operation Streamline began in Del Rio, where the detention center had run out of beds. Todd J. Gillman, Dallas News, "Julian Castro would repeal illegal entry as a crime. Is that an 'open borders' policy?," 6 July 2019 Forty people killed at a migrant detention center in Libya. Rubén Rosario, Twin Cities, "Rosario: This Fourth of July was for smart thermostats and dumb parades," 6 July 2019 News of these social media groups comes as CBP has been criticized for the treatment of migrants in border detention centers. Grace Segers, CBS News, "Border Patrol investigates another potential secret Facebook group," 5 July 2019 Tens of thousands of people across the country have gathered to voice their opposition to migrant detention centers at the U.S. and Mexican border. Darla Guillen Gilthorpe, Houston Chronicle, "'Close the camps' protests emerge amid growing opposition to migrant detention centers," 3 July 2019 What happened during the visit to the detention center? Khushbu Shah, Teen Vogue, "AOC Called Out Border Patrol Over Detention Conditions and a Secret Facebook Group That Posted About Her," 3 July 2019 Some were sent to the hospital and others went to detention centers. Matthew Farwell, The New Republic, "America’s Once and Future Concentration Camp," 3 July 2019 The photos were taken at federal detention centers in the Rio Grande Valley the week of June 10, according to an inspector general's report. Sarah Ladd, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky nun on the US border crisis: 'God sees our failure to love'," 3 July 2019 The ideal situation is to close the detention centers. Tanya Edwards, refinery29.com, "Inside Wayfair Employees' Protest Of The Company's Business With Migrant Detention Centers," 30 June 2019

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

11 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

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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