Thesaurus

detective

noun

Synonyms of detective

a person not on the police force who investigates criminal or illicit activity or searches for missing persons
  • the code used by the serial killer in his letters to the police was actually cracked by an amateur detective

Synonyms for detective

Words Related to detective

See the Dictionary Definition 

Learn More About detective

Time Traveler for detective

Time Traveler

The first known use of detective was in 1732

See more words from the same year

Thesaurus Entries Near detective

detections

detective

detectives

See More Nearby Entries 

Cite this Entry

“Detective.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/detective. Accessed 4 Oct. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on detective

Nglish: Translation of detective for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of detective for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about detective

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!