Detention meaning

dĭ-tĕnshən
A form of punishment in which a student is required to stay after school.
noun
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The state or a period of being detained, especially:
  • A period of temporary custody while awaiting trial.
  • A holding of a person in custody or confinement by authorities for political or military reasons.
  • A form of punishment by which a student is made to stay after regular school hours.
noun
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The act of detaining.
noun
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A detaining or being detained.
  • A keeping in custody; confinement.
  • An enforced delay.
noun
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The act of keeping an individual imprisoned or in custody.
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The holding in custody of an accused criminal or mentally ill individual who is deemed to be a threat to him- or herself or to others, or to represent a flight risk.
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(uncountable) The act of detaining or the state of being detained.
noun
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(countable) A temporary state of custody or confinement, especially of a prisoner awaiting trial, or of a student being punished.
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Detention is defined as the state of being confined or delayed somewhere, or kept after school for punishment.

When you are locked up in prison for a short period of time as punishment, this is an example of detention.

When you are made to stay after school because you did something wrong, this is an example of detention.

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Origin of detention

  • Middle English detencioun act of withholding from Anglo-Norman from Latin dētentiō dētentiōn- from dētentus past participle of dētinēre to detain detain

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Middle French détention.

    From Wiktionary