to discover or catch (a person) in the performance of some act: to detect someone cheating.
to discover the existence of: to detect the odor of gas.
to find out the true character or activity of: to detect a spy.
to rectify alternating signal currents in a radio receiver.
- de·tect·a·ble, de·tect·i·ble, adjective
- de·tect·a·bil·i·ty, de·tect·i·bil·i·ty, noun
- pre·de·tect, verb (used with object)
- un·de·tect·a·ble, adjective
- un·de·tect·a·bly, adverb
- un·de·tect·ed, adjective
- un·de·tect·i·ble, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use detect in a sentence
The Australian state of Victoria has entered a five-day coronavirus lockdown to curb a local outbreak of the coronavirus variant first detected in Britain.Novak Djokovic’s five-set battle at Australian Open started with fans and ended without them | Matt Bonesteel | February 12, 2021 | Washington Post
As the signal faded, some telescopes also detected fluctuations in the light.Exploding neutron star proves to be energy standout of the cosmos | Lisa Grossman | February 12, 2021 | Science News For Students
Now, by detecting the explosions’ infrared light, which penetrates dust better than visible light does, Caltech astronomer Kishalay De and his colleagues have estimated how often these outbursts occur in the Milky Way.The number of Milky Way nova explosions per year has been pinned down | Ken Croswell | February 12, 2021 | Science News
There might be many more, Nesbitt said, as only a small sample of all positive coronavirus tests are sequenced to detect variants.South Africa and U.K. coronavirus variants detected in D.C.; Maryland to open third mass vaccination site | Erin Cox, Julie Zauzmer, Rachel Chason | February 11, 2021 | Washington Post
They mutate and develop new strains, which makes it very difficult to detect them.Among Latino immigrants, false vaccine claims are spreading as fast as the virus | Teo Armus | February 11, 2021 | Washington Post
No one who lives in an American city requires a flashlight to detect the presence of immigrants or the challenges they face daily.
That could change, however, if ISIS obtained the knowledge to build hard-to-detect bombs.
Testing methods can now detect HIV within ten days of infection.The Outrageous Celibacy Requirement for Gay Blood Donors | Jay Michaelson | November 22, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The company is already brainstorming what it can detect next.
There is only one approved, working test that can detect whether or not Ebola is present in the blood.This New Ebola Test Is As Easy As a Pregnancy Test, So Why Aren’t We Using It? | Abby Haglage | October 3, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Yet I think if we observe closely we shall detect traces of a spontaneous impulse towards self-adornment.Children's Ways | James Sully
Tubercle bacilli are nearly always present, although animal inoculation may be necessary to detect them.A Manual of Clinical Diagnosis | James Campbell Todd
It is frequently desirable to detect formalin, which is the most common preservative added to cow's milk.A Manual of Clinical Diagnosis | James Campbell Todd
Fetherston strained his eyes towards the horizon, but declared that he could detect nothing.The Doctor of Pimlico | William Le Queux
This she had the wit to detect, as well as the incontrovertible fact that her youth and her chances were gone.Ancestors | Gertrude Atherton
British Dictionary definitions for detect
to perceive or notice: to detect a note of sarcasm
to discover the existence or presence of (esp something likely to elude observation): to detect alcohol in the blood
to extract information from (an electromagnetic wave)
obsolete to reveal or expose (a crime, criminal, etc)
- detectable or detectible, adjective
- detecter, noun
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