detention

noun
de·​ten·​tion | \di-ˈten-chən \

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

According to the Justice Ministry, a single room at the detention center is about 75 square feet to 85 square feet. Noemie Bisserbe, WSJ, "Nissan’s Ghosn to Be Detained for a Further 10 Days," 21 Nov. 2018 By late Wednesday, at least 77 remained on board after more than a dozen of the migrants agreed to leave with the Libyan coast guard for a nearby detention center — including a woman and her infant. Lori Hinnant, The Seattle Times, "Dozens of migrants refuse to leave container ship in Libya," 14 Nov. 2018 The figure is a significant increase from the November 2017 numbers, which saw ICE’s detention centers holding a daily average of 39,322 people, the Beast reported. Christianna Silva, Teen Vogue, "ICE Is Reportedly Detaining a Record High Number of People: Over 44,000 on an Average Day," 12 Nov. 2018 The new policy shifts the standard for most of the cases that certain asylum officers (such as those detailed to detention centers where people who have just been apprehended by Border Patrol are kept) will have to deal with. Dara Lind, Vox, "Some asylum officers say they never got the memo about Trump’s asylum ban," 10 Nov. 2018 The protests come after several weeks of demonstrations across the country – many outside detention centers nationwide. Fox News, "Thousands rally nationwide for illegal immigrant families separated at border," 2 Oct. 2018 Mexican police have started targeting caravan travelers who hitch rides on freight trains for detention. Dara Lind, Vox, "Border Patrol agents now have to ask everyone they catch if they’re part of the caravan," 2 Nov. 2018 The report made public Tuesday found one child was held as long as 25 days in a border patrol facility meant for short-term detention. Colleen Long, The Seattle Times, "Watchdog: US unprepared for consequences of ‘zero tolerance’," 2 Oct. 2018 Justice Department officials have asked that the agreement, known as the Flores agreement, be modified to allow for longer detentions. CBS News, "With thousands of children still separated, deadline to reunite immigrants quickly approaching," 6 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

28 Nov 2018

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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 \

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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