metal detector


plural metal detectors
: a device that detects the presence of hidden metal: such as
: a security device that scans individuals for dangerous objects (such as weapons)
I boarded the plane armed with several frying thermometers, which set off the metal detectorJeffrey Steingarten
Once inside the theater, the crowd had to pass through an airport-style metal detector as a security precaution.Richard Zoglin
: a handheld apparatus that uses electrical induction (see induction sense 4c) to detect the presence of metallic objects (such as coins or jewelry) buried a short distance underground
A local man using a metal detector stumbled upon the site last March. He found two copper brooches, or pins, measuring four inches across.Time for Kids

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web For obvious reasons, sending a human out into a minefield with a metal detector is not the safest way of doing things. IEEE Spectrum, 20 Mar. 2023 The undetectable firearms are designed to evade security screenings by a metal detector or X-ray machine and can be manufactured on a three-dimensional printer without metal components. Ben Botkin, oregonlive, 20 Mar. 2023 Dutch treasure hunter Lorenzo Ruijter had been unsuccessfully scanning the ground for nearly three hours when his metal detector finally went off. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 14 Mar. 2023 Wand metal detector placed in use at the door from 10 p.m. until close for all entering customers. John Sharp | , al, 10 Mar. 2023 This can involve crawling through a snowy minefield, holding a metal detector in one hand and a flashlight in the other. Masha Gessen, The New Yorker, 6 Mar. 2023 Walk through the metal detector carrying your pet or guiding it by leash. Andrea Sachs, Anchorage Daily News, 25 Feb. 2023 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'metal detector.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1880, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of metal detector was in 1880

Dictionary Entries Near metal detector

Cite this Entry

“Metal detector.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Mar. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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