noun Law.

a writ for the further detention of a person already in custody.
the wrongful detaining or withholding of what belongs to another.

Origin of detainer

1610–20; < Anglo-French detener (noun use of infinitive), variant of Old French detenir; see detain
Related formspre·de·tain·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for detainer

Contemporary Examples of detainer

  • It also helps if your party opponent is seriously flawed (as Joe Miller, detainer of pesky journalists, proved himself to be).

    The Daily Beast logo
    To Hell With the Activists

    Tunku Varadarajan

    November 17, 2010

Historical Examples of detainer

British Dictionary definitions for detainer


noun law

the wrongful withholding of the property of another person
  1. the detention of a person in custody
  2. a writ authorizing the further detention of a person already in custody

Word Origin for detainer

C17: from Anglo-French detener (n), from detener to detain
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 detainer

"one who detains," 1530s, agent noun from detain. As a legal term, "a detaining in one's possession," from 1610s, from Anglo-French detener, from Old French detenir (noun use of infinitive).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper