detain Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary
Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

Meaning of “detain” in the English Dictionary

"detain" in British English

See all translations

detainverb [T often passive]

uk   us   /dɪˈteɪn/
to ​force someone ​officially to ​stay in a ​place: A ​suspect has been detained by the ​police for ​questioning. Several of the ​injured were detained ​overnight in ​hospital. to ​delay someone for a ​shortlength 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 ​courtsfeel is ​necessary
(Definition of detain from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"detain" in American English

See all translations

detainverb [T]

 us   /dɪˈteɪn/
to ​force someone ​officially to ​stay in a ​place: A ​suspect is being detained by the ​police for ​further questioning. To detain someone is also to ​delay that ​person for a ​shortperiod of ​time: We were detained in ​traffic and ​arrived at the ​theater a little late.
(Definition of detain from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of detain?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website
Word of the Day

forage

to go from place to place searching, especially for food

Word of the Day

Meerkat meme
Meerkat meme
by Colin McIntosh,
September 03, 2015
Meerkats are not new to popular culture (they appear in the folk tales of the San people of the Kalahari), but their arrival in the public’s consciousness, at least in the UK and the US, is a relatively recent phenomenon. Meerkats are small, sociable Southern African mammals that live in large family

Read More 

parklet noun
parklet noun
August 31, 2015
a public outdoor space that may be associated with a local business but where anyone can sit Pop-up cafes in NY are what’s actually called parklets in many other places around the country.

Read More