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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. to delay someone for a short length of time: I'm sorry I'm late - I was unavoidably detained. detain sb at His/Her Majesty's pleasure UK specialized to keep someone in prison for as long as the courts feel is necessary
(Definition of detain from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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