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detain

[ dih-teyn ]
/ dɪˈteɪn /
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See synonyms for: detain / detained / detaining on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object)
to keep from proceeding; keep waiting; delay.
to keep under restraint or in custody.
Obsolete. to keep back or withhold, as from a person.
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Origin of detain

First recorded in 1480–90; detainen, from Anglo-French, Old French detenir, from unattested Vulgar Latin dētenīre, for Latin dētinēre, equivalent to dē-de- + -tinēre, combining form of tenēre “to hold”

OTHER WORDS FROM detain

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use detain in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for detain

detain
/ (dɪˈteɪn) /

verb (tr)
to delay; hold back; stop
to confine or hold in custody; restrain
archaic to retain or withhold

Derived forms of detain

detainable, adjectivedetainee (ˌdiːteɪˈniː), noundetainment, noun

Word Origin for detain

C15: from Old French detenir, from Latin dētinēre to hold off, keep back, from de- + tenēre to hold
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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