detain

[dih-teyn]
verb (used with object)
  1. to keep from proceeding; keep waiting; delay.
  2. to keep under restraint or in custody.
  3. 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
Related formsde·tain·a·ble, adjectivede·tain·ment, nounpre·de·tain, verb (used with object)un·de·tain·a·ble, adjectiveun·de·tained, adjective

Synonyms for detain

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for detainable

detain

verb (tr)
  1. to delay; hold back; stop
  2. to confine or hold in custody; restrain
  3. archaic to retain or withhold
Derived Formsdetainable, 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

Word Origin and History for detainable

detain

v.

early 15c., deteynen, from Old French detenir "to hold off, keep back" (12c.), from Latin detinere "hold off, keep back," from de- "from, away" (see de-) + tenere "to hold" (see tenet). Modern spelling is 17c., from influence of contain, retain, etc. Related: Detained; detaining.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper