- 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
Examples from the Web for detectable
Each of the patients had detectable virus in blood but far fewer had virus found in other body fluids.Did One Liberian Prostitute Give Ebola to Eight Soldiers?
October 7, 2014
In contrast, the actual chicken pox virus long ago exited my bloodstream and is not detectable.
She, unlike the other millions, has no detectable antibody to HIV.
In other words, imagine being disloyal in a way that was not detectable by the people you were betraying.Whistleblowers Are Weird
June 10, 2013
“Probably” not detectable by a metal detector; unclear whether the new body scanners would have caught it.Man’s Airport Strip Meant to Highlight Intrusive and Ineffective TSA Security
May 9, 2012
"Here," Tip answered, in a detectable imitation of Schroeder's voice.Space Prison
It is detectable in every utterance of theirs when they are talking about us.Is Shakespeare Dead?
Then suddenly—for no detectable reason—conditions are reversed.Disturbing Sun
Robert Shirley Richardson
"We can always depend on Johnny," said Paresi with no detectable emphasis at all.Breaking Point
James E. Gunn
The beam is not detectable by your methods and, therefore, cannot be jammed.Diplomatic Immunity
- 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 detectable
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper