Definition of detention noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//dɪˈtenʃn//
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈtenʃn//
    Prison, School life
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  1. 1[uncountable] the state of being kept in a place, especially a prison, and prevented from leaving a sentence of 12 months’ detention in a young offender institution police powers of arrest and detention allegations of torture and detention without trial a detention camp See related entries: Prison
  2. 2[uncountable, countable] the punishment of being kept at school for a time after other students have gone home They can’t give me (a) detention for this. See related entries: School life
  3. see also detain
    Word Originlate Middle English (in the sense ‘withholding of what is claimed or due’): from late Latin detentio(n-), from Latin detinere ‘hold back’, from de- ‘away, aside’ + tenere ‘to hold’.Extra examples Any student caught smoking would be given detention immediately. He made the confession while under detention. He was held in detention from 1991 to 2001. If found guilty of smuggling drugs, she could face indefinite detention. If found guilty, she could face indefinite detention. Lawyers argued that she should be allowed to serve her detention in her home country. My first day of school, and I have detention. Opponents of the regime had been subject to arbitrary detention, torture and execution. Prisoners have the right to challenge their detentions. She spent 18 years in detention. Suspects were placed in preventive detention. The judge will fix the period of detention. They were sentenced to 12 months’ detention in a young offender institution.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: detention

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