Definitions for detentiondɪˈtɛn ʃən

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word detention

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

de•ten•tiondɪˈtɛn ʃən(n.)

  1. the act of detaining or the state of being detained.

  2. maintenance of a person in custody or confinement, as while awaiting a court decision.

  3. the keeping of a student after school hours as a punishment.

Origin of detention:

1400–50; late ME < L dētentiō=dēten-, var. s. of dētinēre (see detain ) +-tiō -tion

Princeton's WordNet

  1. detention, detainment, hold, custody(noun)

    a state of being confined (usually for a short time)

    "his detention was politically motivated"; "the prisoner is on hold"; "he is in the custody of police"

  2. detention(noun)

    a punishment in which a student must stay at school after others have gone home

    "the detention of tardy pupils"

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. detention(noun)ɪˈtɛn ʃən

    ≠ release

    ***their detention in the prison camp

  2. detentionɪˈtɛn ʃən

    a punishment in which students have to stay with the teacher after class

    ***The teacher gave me two days of detention.


  1. detention(Noun)

    The act of detaining or the state of being detained.

  2. detention(Noun)

    A temporary state of custody or confinement, especially of a prisoner awaiting trial, or of a student being punished.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Detention(noun)

    the act of detaining or keeping back; a withholding

  2. Detention(noun)

    the state of being detained (stopped or hindered); delay from necessity

  3. Detention(noun)

    confinement; restraint; custody


  1. Detention

    Detention is the process when a state, government or citizen lawfully holds a person by removing their freedom of liberty at that time. This can be due to criminal charges being raised against the individual as part of a prosecution or to protect a person or property. Being detained does not always result in being taken to a particular area, either for interrogation, or as punishment for a crime. The term can also be used in reference to the holding of property, for the same reasons. The process of detainment may or may not have been preceded or followed with an arrest. The prisoners in Guantánamo Bay are for example referred to as "detainees". Detainee is a term used by certain governments and their military to refer to individuals held in custody, such as those it does not classify and treat as either prisoners of war or suspects in criminal cases. It is used to refer to "any person captured or otherwise detained by an armed force." More generally, it is "someone held in custody." Article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that, "No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile." In wars between nations, detainees are referenced in the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Translations for detention

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


the state of being imprisoned

The criminals are in detention.

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