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Definition of “detain” - English Dictionary

"detain" in American English

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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 short period 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)







"detain" in British English

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detainverb [T often passive]

uk   /dɪˈteɪn/ 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 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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