[ dih-ten-shuh n ]
/ dɪˈtɛn ʃən /


the act of detaining.
the state of being detained.
maintenance of a person in custody or confinement, especially while awaiting a court decision.
the withholding of what belongs to or is claimed by another.


of or relating to detention or used to detain: the detention room of a police station.

Origin of detention

1400–50; late Middle English < Latin dētentiōn- (stem of dētentiō), equivalent to dētent(us) detained (past participle of dētinēre; see detain) + -iōn- -ion


non·de·ten·tion, nounpre·de·ten·tion, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for detention

British Dictionary definitions for detention

/ (dɪˈtɛnʃən) /


the act of detaining or state of being detained
  1. custody or confinement, esp of a suspect awaiting trial
  2. (as modifier)a detention order
a form of punishment in which a pupil is detained after school
the withholding of something belonging to or claimed by another

Word Origin for detention

C16: from Latin dētentiō a keeping back; see 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