Meaning of “detective” in the English Dictionary

british dictionary

"detective" in British English

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detectivenoun [ C ]

uk /dɪˈtek.tɪv/ us /dɪˈtek.tɪv/

B1 someone whose job is to discover information about crimes and find out who is responsible for them:

a private detective
detective stories

used as part of the title of particular ranks in the police force:

Detective Sergeant Lewis

More examples

  • Her new detective series will be her debut on the small screen.
  • She hired a private detective to find out if her husband was having an affair.
  • A private detective has apparently unearthed some fresh evidence.
  • The detective on the case has been suspended from duty.
  • During the investigation, two detectives assumed the identities of antiques dealers.

(Definition of “detective” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"detective" in American English

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detectivenoun [ C ]

us /dɪˈtek·tɪv/

a police officer whose job is to discover information about crimes and find out who is responsible for them

(Definition of “detective” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)