What does detain mean?

Definitions for detain

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word detain.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. confine, detainverb

    deprive of freedom; take into confinement

  2. stay, detain, delayverb

    stop or halt

    "Please stay the bloodshed!"

  3. delay, detain, hold upverb

    cause to be slowed down or delayed

    "Traffic was delayed by the bad weather"; "she delayed the work that she didn't want to perform"


  1. detainverb

    Keep (someone) from proceeding by holding them back or making claims on their attention.

  2. detainverb

    To put under custody.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To DETAINverb

    Etymology: detineo, Latin.

    Detain not the wages of the hireling; for every degree of detention of it, beyond the time, is injustice and uncharitableness. Jeremy Taylor, Rule of living holy.

    These doings sting him
    So venomously, that burning shame detains him
    From his Cordelia. William Shakespeare, King Lear.

    He has described the passion of Calypso, and the indecent advances she made to detain him from his country. William Broome.

    Let us detain thee until we shall have made ready a kid. Judg. xiii. 15.

    Had Orpheus sung it in the nether sphere,
    So much the hymn had pleas’d the tyrant’s ear,
    The wife had been detain’d to keep her husband there. Dry.


  1. detain

    To detain is to keep or hold someone temporarily or to delay their movement or progress, often in legal circumstances, such as law enforcement keeping someone in custody while carrying out an investigation.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Detainverb

    to keep back or from; to withhold

  2. Detainverb

    to restrain from proceeding; to stay or stop; to delay; as, we were detained by an accident

  3. Detainverb

    to hold or keep in custody

  4. Detainnoun


Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Detain

    de-tān′, v.t. to hold from or back: to stop: to keep: to keep in custody.—ns. Detain′er, one who detains: (law) the holding of what belongs to another: a warrant to a sheriff to keep in custody a person already in confinement: Detain′ment (same as Detention). [O. Fr. detenir—L. detinērede, from, and tenēre, to hold.]

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of detain in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of detain in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Examples of detain in a Sentence

  1. Sam Shamansky:

    The county prosecutor working with the U.S. Attorney's office decided to proceed first in state court to detain my client.

  2. Kevin Landy:

    Even if the number of border crossings doesn't go back up in the fall, all this (new rule) would enable them to do is to detain a relatively small percentage of the arriving families for longer.

  3. Donald Trump:

    I am asking Congress to ensure that in the fight against ISIS and al Qaeda we continue to have all necessary power to detain terrorists wherever we chase them down, wherever we find them. And In many cases for them it will now be Guantánamo bay.

  4. The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department:

    Law enforcement has the civil arrest warrant that authorizes them to detain the patient who is still refusing treatment.

  5. Former ICE official Thomas Feeley:

    It's a lot like a hotel chain. You know ERO can tell how many beds are open at a current facility, and then the people in charge of that aircraft will reach out to the office and say, 'You know what, you have a hundred beds open, we’re going to send you a hundred illegal aliens,' what's currently happening now at the headquarters level, which again has never really taken place in the past, they're actually going through the detain dockets at these facilities and picking out cases they want released to clear out beds so they can ship them more illegal aliens.

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Translations for detain

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"detain." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 23 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/detain>.

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    cause to feel shame; hurt the pride of
    A abase
    B denudate
    C affront
    D embellish

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