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

Saudi authorities released billionaire Mohammed Hussein Al Amoudi after nearly 15 months of detention, Ethiopian officials said, the latest in a wave of prominent businesspeople to regain their freedom after being rounded up in November 2017. Yohannes Anberbir, WSJ, "Saudi Arabia Releases Ethiopian Billionaire Al Amoudi," 27 Jan. 2019 Neither did Obama’s efforts to expand family detention in fall 2015. Dara Lind, Vox, "The migrant caravan, explained," 24 Oct. 2018 Later that month, the administration backtracked slightly, replacing the separation with indefinite family detention. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Order 9066 is a deep dive into the internment of Japanese citizens during WWII," 29 July 2018 She and her husband worked 15-hour days primarily out of a trailer in the South Texas Family Residential Center, the largest family detention center in the United States, according to the Dilley Pro Bono Project website. Faith E. Pinho, Indianapolis Star, "Indianapolis attorney returns from border with stories she could not 'fathom'," 12 July 2018 Though there are alternatives to detention – like using ankle monitors or community supervision – that have proven to be successful and cost-effective, the Trump administration is focused primarily on locking migrants up. Margaret Hartmann, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Returns to ‘Catch and Release’ for Migrant Families – But Maybe Not for Long," 11 July 2018 The marches have called for quicker unifications, as well as an end to the zero-tolerance policy and family detentions. Julyssa Lopez, Glamour, "Chrissy Teigen Went to the Families Belong Together Rally With Baby Luna," 30 June 2018 Palantir has numerous government contracts and is involved in the operation of ICE's detention and deportation programs. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Amazon staff to Bezos: Stop selling tech to law enforcement, Palantir," 22 June 2018 But within the week there was talk of making a detention camp 10 times as big. Garance Burke And Martha Mendoza, The Seattle Times, "US waived FBI checks on staff at growing teen migrant camp," 28 Nov. 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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Last Updated

21 Mar 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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