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English definition of “detain”

detain

verb [T often passive] uk   /dɪˈteɪn/ us  
to force someone officially to stay in a place: A suspect has been detained by the police for further questioning. Several of the injured were detained overnight in hospital.Putting people in prison to delay someone for a short length of time: I'm sorry I'm late - I was unavoidably detained.Delaying and wasting time detain sb at His/Her Majesty's pleasure UK specialized to keep someone in prison for as long as the courts feel is necessaryPutting people in prison
(Definition of detain from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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