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detective

[dih-tek-tiv] /dɪˈtɛk tɪv/
noun
1.
a member of the police force or a private investigator whose function is to obtain information and evidence, as of offenses against the law.
adjective
2.
of or relating to detection or detectives:
a detective story.
3.
serving to detect; detecting:
various detective devices.
Origin of detective
1830-1840
First recorded in 1830-40; detect + -ive
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for detective
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The detective indulged himself in a cackle of sneering merriment.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • And with the detective went a man whose gait was slinking, craven.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • Again, he saw the detective walking forward, out there in the corridor.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • "You'll have the chance before long," replied the detective.

    The Black Bag Louis Joseph Vance
  • The Government had recalled all the men but five, who were left in charge of detective Carpenter.

    The Hunted Outlaw Anonymous
British Dictionary definitions for detective

detective

/dɪˈtɛktɪv/
noun
1.
  1. a police officer who investigates crimes
  2. See private detective
  3. (as modifier): a detective story
adjective
2.
used in or serving for detection
3.
serving to detect
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
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Word Origin and History for detective
n.

1850, short for detective police, from detective (adj.), 1843; see detect + -ive.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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15
17
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