Dictionary.com

detention

[ dih-ten-shuhn ]
/ dɪˈtɛn ʃən /
Save This Word!

noun
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.
adjective
of or relating to detention or used to detain: the detention room of a police station.
QUIZ
WILL YOU SAIL OR STUMBLE ON THESE GRAMMAR QUESTIONS?
Smoothly step over to these common grammar mistakes that trip many people up. Good luck!
Question 1 of 7
Fill in the blank: I can’t figure out _____ gave me this gift.

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

OTHER WORDS FROM detention

non·de·ten·tion, nounpre·de·ten·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use detention in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for detention

detention
/ (dɪˈtɛnʃən) /

noun
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
FEEDBACK