What does detention mean?

Definitions for detentiondɪˈtɛn ʃən

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word detention.

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"


  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

  4. Origin: [L. detentio: cf. F. dtention. See Detain.]


  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.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Detention

    de-ten′shun, n. act of detaining: state of being detained: confinement: delay.—n. Detent′, something to check motion: a catch, esp. in a clock or watch. [See Detain.]


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of detention in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of detention in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Sample Sentences & Example Usage

  1. Natasha Blucher:

    She's effectively in detention inside the hospital.

  2. The Navy:

    There are no indications that the Sailors were harmed during their brief detention.

  3. Erin Thompson:

    At John Jay College, we study both terrorism and the effects of wrongful detention.

  4. Pardiss Kebriaei:

    Continuing, still indefinite detention after all this time is unprecedented and experimental.

  5. Peter Altmaier:

    We could set up the transit zones in a way that makes them effective without conveying detention.

Images & Illustrations of detention

  1. detentiondetentiondetention

Translations for detention

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"detention." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 24 Mar. 2018. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/detention>.

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