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See also: détention



Borrowed from Middle French détention, from Latin detentio, detentionem.


  • IPA(key): /dɪˈtɛnʃən/
  • (file)


English Wikipedia has an article on:

detention (countable and uncountable, plural detentions)

  1. (uncountable) The act of detaining or the state of being detained.
    • 1945 January and February, T. F. Cameron, “Dock Working”, in Railway Magazine, page 12:
      In the case of rail-borne traffic, permission is given to each sender to load and forward his traffic so that it will be available for loading into the vessel with a minimum of detention to wagons, unless arrangements have been made for the traffic to be put into store to await the arrival of the ship.
    • 2023 November 15, Prof. Jim Wild, “This train was delayed because of bad weather in space”, in RAIL, number 996, page 30:
      " [] On the 18th of October, 1841, a very intense magnetic disturbance was recorded, and amongst other curious facts mentioned is that of the detention of the 10:05pm express train at Exeter for 16 minutes, as from the magnetic disturbance affecting the needles so powerfully, it was impossible to ascertain if the line was clear at Starcross. The superintendent at Exeter reported the next morning that someone was playing tricks with the instruments, and would not let them work."
  2. (countable) A temporary state of custody or confinement.
    1. (law) Confinement of a prisoner awaiting trial.
    2. (pedagogy) A punishment given to a student for a minor infraction, typically requiring the student to report to a designated room during recess or outside of school hours to work on homework or perform busywork.
      be stuck in detention
  3. (civil law) The bare physical control without the mental element of intention required for possession.


  • (punishment given to a student for a minor infraction): DT, jug (Roman Catholicism)

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]


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detention c (singular definite detentionen, plural indefinite detentioner)

  1. detention


Further reading[edit]