detention

noun

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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Over the years, dissidents, human rights activists and journalists — as well as their family members — in Chechnya have faced threats and reported instances of abduction, arbitrary detention and death. Rachel Treisman, NPR, 9 Apr. 2024 Mexico now has the largest migrant detention system in the hemisphere. TIME, 9 Apr. 2024 Jesus Cardenas was recently sentenced to a combination of work furlough and home detention. Tammy Murga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 Apr. 2024 Last week marked the one-year anniversary of the arrest and detention of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich in Russia. Mariya Knight, CNN, 2 Apr. 2024 Jail time in Miami-Dade will soon be free after county commissioners voted to eliminate fees for booking, medical care, ankle bracelets and other detention expenses currently billed to inmates. Douglas Hanks, Miami Herald, 2 Apr. 2024 Cabarrus County employs roughly 1,300 people — with attorneys, detention officers, dentists and librarians among them. Gavin Off, Charlotte Observer, 1 Apr. 2024 Earlier this week, his pre-trial detention was extended for another three months. Alexandra Hutzler, ABC News, 29 Mar. 2024 But the hearing itself offered no new revelations on his case: He was ordered to remain behind bars pending trial at least until June 30 — the fifth extension of his detention. Emma Burrows, Quartz, 28 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'detention.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near detention

Cite this Entry

“Detention.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/detention. Accessed 19 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

detention

noun
de·​ten·​tion di-ˈten-chən How to pronounce detention (audio)
: the act of detaining : the state of being detained: as
a
: temporary custody before a trial
b
: the punishment of being kept in after school

Legal Definition

detention

noun
de·​ten·​tion
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

More from Merriam-Webster on detention

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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