- to keep from proceeding; keep waiting; delay.
- to keep under restraint or in custody.
- Obsolete. to keep back or withhold, as from a person.
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
Synonyms for detain
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- to delay; hold back; stop
- to confine or hold in custody; restrain
- archaic to retain or withhold
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
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper