detective

[ dih-tek-tiv ]
/ dɪˈtɛk tɪv /

noun

a member of the police force or a private investigator whose function is to obtain information and evidence, as of offenses against the law.

adjective

of or relating to detection or detectives: a detective story.
serving to detect; detecting: various detective devices.

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Origin of detective

First recorded in1830–40; detect + -ive
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for detective

British Dictionary definitions for detective

detective
/ (dɪˈtɛktɪv) /

noun

  1. a police officer who investigates crimes
  2. See private detective
  3. (as modifier)a detective story

adjective

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