- to discover or catch (a person) in the performance of some act: to detect someone cheating.
- to discover the existence of: to detect the odor of gas.
- to find out the true character or activity of: to detect a spy.
- to rectify alternating signal currents in a radio receiver.
- to demodulate.
Origin of detect
1400–50; late Middle English < Latin dētēctus (past participle of dētegere), equivalent to dē- de- + teg(ere) to cover + -tus past participle suffix
2. See learn.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- to perceive or noticeto detect a note of sarcasm
- to discover the existence or presence of (esp something likely to elude observation)to detect alcohol in the blood
- to extract information from (an electromagnetic wave)
- obsolete to reveal or expose (a crime, criminal, etc)
C15: from Latin dētectus uncovered, from dētegere to uncover, from de- + tegere to cover
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for detectability
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper