- a member of the police force or a private investigator whose function is to obtain information and evidence, as of offenses against the law.
Origin of detective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for detective
On Thursday, Detective Superintendent McDonald described his account as “harrowing” and compelling.Victim: I Watched British MPs Rape and Murder Young Boys
December 18, 2014
The Glock family feud gets messier with new court documents alleging that gun magnate Gaston had a detective follow his ex-wife.Glock Founder Puts Bullseye on Ex-Wife
December 6, 2014
Back at police headquarters, Chief of Police Michael Floore Sr. ran out of the detective bureau, barking into a walkie talkie.
She had a simple answer to my inquiry about the calls that were never returned—from her or anyone else in the detective bureau.
On the second floor I rang a buzzer at the door of the detective bureau.
The detective indulged himself in a cackle of sneering merriment.
And with the detective went a man whose gait was slinking, craven.
Again, he saw the detective walking forward, out there in the corridor.
"You'll have the chance before long," replied the detective.The Black Bag
Louis Joseph Vance
The Government had recalled all the men but five, who were left in charge of Detective Carpenter.The Hunted Outlaw
- a police officer who investigates crimes
- See private detective
- (as modifier)a detective story
- used in or serving for detection
- serving to detect
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 detective
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper