- An individual part or item; a particular: discussed the details of the proposal.
- Particulars considered individually and in relation to a whole: careful attention to detail.
- A minor or an inconsequential item or aspect; a minutia: skipped the details to get to the main point.
- A minute or thorough treatment or account: went into detail about his travels.
a. A discrete part or portion of a work, such as a painting, building, or decorative object, especially when considered in isolation.
b. A representation of such a part or portion: a detail of a Rembrandt portrait illustrating the technique of chiaroscuro.
a. A small elaborated element of a work of art, craft, or design.
b. Such elements considered together: the intricate detail of a rococo altarpiece.
c. The rendering of artistic detail: the fine detail of the painter's brushwork.
a. A group of military personnel assigned to a particular duty, usually a fatigue duty.
b. The duty assigned: garbage detail.
transitive verbde·tailed, de·tail·ing, de·tails
- To report or relate explicitly or in particulars: detailed the charges against the defendant.
- To provide with artistic or decorative detail: detailed the quilt with colorful appliqué.
- To assign to a particular duty: “The musicians and other non-combatants were detailed to carry the stretchers” ( Peter Cozzens )
- To clean (a car interior, for example) meticulously.
- To market to (a physician) the drugs sold by one's company,
Origin of detail
French détail from
Old French detail a piece cut off from detaillir to cut up de- de- tailler, taillier to cut
; see tailor
top: a painting of the Chateau of Chillon by William Baptiste Baird (1847-1899?)
bottom:a detail of the same painting
(countable and uncountable, plural details)
- (countable) Something small enough to escape casual notice.
- Note this fine detail in the lower left corner.
- We missed several important details in the contract.
- (uncountable) A profusion of details.
- This etching is full of fine detail.
- Something considered trivial enough to ignore.
- I don't concern myself with the details of accounting.
- (countable) A person's name, address and other personal information.
- The arresting officer asked the suspect for his details.
- (military) A temporary unit or assignment.
- A part distinct from the whole.
- A narrative which relates minute points; an account which dwells on particulars.
(third-person singular simple present details, present participle detailing, simple past and past participle detailed)
- to explain in detail
- I'll detail the exact procedure to you later.
- (US (?)) to clean carefully (particularly a car) (IPA: [ˈdi(ː)teɪɫ])
- We need to have the minivan detailed.
- (military) to assign to a particular task
French détail, from Old French detail, from detaillier, from de- + taillier (“to cut”).