Dictionary.com

detain

[ dih-teyn ]
/ dɪˈteɪn /
Save This Word!
See synonyms for: detain / detained 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.

QUIZZES

QUIZ YOURSELF ON AFFECT VS. EFFECT!

In effect, this quiz will prove whether or not you have the skills to know the difference between “affect” and “effect.”
Question 1 of 7
The rainy weather could not ________ my elated spirits on my graduation day.

Origin of detain

1480–90; detainen<Anglo-French, Old French detenir<Vulgar Latin *dētenīre, for Latin dētinēre, equivalent to dē-de- + -tinēre, combining form of tenēre to hold
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

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
detainable, adjectivedetainee (ˌdiːteɪˈniː), noundetainment, noun
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
Essays. Emails. Everything. Get Help Now!