• WordNet 3.6
    • v detain cause to be slowed down or delayed "Traffic was delayed by the bad weather","she delayed the work that she didn't want to perform"
    • v detain stop or halt "Please stay the bloodshed!"
    • v detain deprive of freedom; take into confinement
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: In New Jersey it is illegal to delay or detain a homing pigeon.
    • n Detain Detention.
    • Detain To hold or keep in custody.
    • Detain To keep back or from; to withhold. "Detain not the wages of the hireling."
    • Detain To restrain from proceeding; to stay or stop; to delay; as, we were detained by an accident. "Let us detain thee, until we shall have made ready a kid for thee."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • detain To keep back or away; withhold; specifically, to keep or retain unjustly.
    • detain To keep or restrain from proceeding; stay or stop: as, we were detained by the rain.
    • detain In law, to hold in custody. Synonyms To retard, delay, hinder, cheek, retain.
    • n detain Detention.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.t Detain de-tān′ to hold from or back: to stop: to keep: to keep in custody
    • ***


  • Walter Savage Landor
    “My thoughts are my company; I can bring them together, select them, detain them, dismiss them.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. détenir, L. detinere, detentum,; de, + tenere, to hold. See Tenable
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr. detenir—L. detinērede, from, and tenēre, to hold.


In literature:

I need not detain you with a description of my voyage down Channel.
"A Boy's Voyage Round the World" by The Son of Samuel Smiles
The vessels were detained by the Dutch at Java, and many of the seamen died in captivity.
"The History of Tasmania, Volume I (of 2)" by John West
Every night it was necessary to land, and often the storm detained them for many hours.
"The Adventures of the Chevalier De La Salle and His Companions, in Their Explorations of the Prairies, Forests, Lakes, and Rivers, of the New World, and Their Interviews with the Savage Tribes, Two Hundred Years Ago" by John S. C. Abbott
Sir Henry, who is a violent man, and here has almost regal sway, determined to detain you till you surrendered up the child.
"Japhet in Search of a Father" by Frederick Marryat
I believe I admonished the Senate two hours ago that time was very precious; and I shall not detain them myself.
"A Report of the Debates and Proceedings in the Secret Sessions of the Conference Convention" by Lucius Eugene Chittenden
Senta is about to run away to welcome him, but is detained by Erick, who tries to win her for himself.
"The Standard Operaglass" by Charles Annesley
Madeleine would have followed, but Maurice seized her hand detainingly.
"Fairy Fingers" by Anna Cora Mowatt Ritchie
The squadron when collected was detained by contrary winds.
"Sir Walter Ralegh" by William Stebbing
Detained at Calais till seven.
"The Greville Memoirs" by Charles C. F. Greville
Detestable weather, of which the worst winter in Paris can give no idea, detained the French expedition for three weeks.
"Celebrated Travels and Travellers" by Jules Verne
One is detained by the contraction of cold until the blood and other fluids die by asphyxia.
"Philosophy of Osteopathy" by Andrew T. Still
The boy was detained unavoidably, and returned an hour later than he was expected.
"Rufus and Rose" by Horatio Alger, Jr
Menelaus holds the Old Man fast, and asks: What God detains me from my return?
"Homer's Odyssey" by Denton J. Snider
He and his Augsburg patrons began to suspect whether measures had not already been taken to detain him.
"The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 9" by Various
Detained in camp on parole.
"Uncle Sam's Boys as Lieutenants" by H. Irving Hancock
I won't detain you any longer, Monsieur Mafflu.
"Woman on Her Own, False Gods & The Red Robe" by Eugène Brieux
If she had detained Gerard, not Gerard her, her lover-cousin had no ground for especial apprehension.
"From the Car Behind" by Eleanor M. Ingram
And I don't think that I need detain you any longer.
"The Slave of Silence" by Fred M. White
Frau von Gropphusen made no effort to detain him.
"'Jena' or 'Sedan'?" by Franz Beyerlein
It was not in the power of all his gallantry to detain her longer.
"The Complete Project Gutenberg Works of Jane Austen" by Jane Austen

In poetry:

If e'er thy breast with freedom glow'd,
And spurn'd a tyrant's chain,
Let not thy strong oppressive force
A free-born mouse detain.
"The Mouse's Petition" by Anna Laetitia Aikin Barbauld
Go then, go! we'll not detain you,
We dare not ask your longer stay;
And may winds and waves of ocean,
Waft you safely on your way.
"To My Missionary Friends" by Mary Ann H T Bigelow
Once more detained him there;
And, stirred by hauntings, he must needs repair
To where the tomb was. Lo, it stood still wasting
In no man's care.
"The Obliterate Tomb" by Thomas Hardy
Is it you, perchance, who ache to strain us
Dumbly to the dim transfigured breast,
Or with tragic gesture would detain us
From the age-long search for rest?
"All Saints" by Edith Wharton
Now to the fiend those needy folks complain,
And at his hands my punishment implore,
Because I us'd their wages to detain,
And ruin'd such a number of the poor.
"The Complaint And The Advice Of Dives, To His Five Brethren (Part 1)" by Rees Prichard
Unthankfulness is that great sin,
Which made the devil and his angels fall:
Lost him and them the joys that they were in,
And now in hell detains them bound in thrall.
"Ingratitude" by Sir John Harrington

In news:

Korea says it has detained a US citizen for unspecified crime, prepares to indict him.
Korea says it has detained a US citizen for unspecified crime, prepares to indict him SEOUL, South Korea (AP).
Law enforcement officials are vastly expanding their collection of DNA to include millions more people who have been arrested or detained but not yet convicted.
A state judge in Crowley has ordered the Vermilion Parish sheriff to provide records of immigrants detained since 2009 to a legal nonprofit.
Shackled in handcuffs, Gabriel Carrillo was being detained in a small break room near the visitors' lobby in Men's Central Jail when, he says, a Sheriff's deputy knocked him to the floor with an uppercut.
Riley County police say a 14-year-old boy was detained after he was caught pleasuring himself in a public waiting room .
Riley County police say a 14-year-old boy was detained after he was caught pleasuring himself in a public waiting room.
Nazi-era war crime suspect detained.
Detained Iran Hikers' Families Write of Heartache.
The families of the three American hikers apparently detained by Iranian authorities after mistakenly crossing the unmarked border from Iraqi Kurdistan into Iran have put out a statement calling for the hikers' release.
China Detains 2 for Wuhan Pollution Rumor, Daily Reports.
Kassim Ahmad, forty-four, a leading Malaysian poet and writer of short stories, was arrested by the Malaysian government on November 3, 1976 and subsequently detained without trial under Malaysia's Internal Security Act.
Croatian police have detained managers of a local pharmaceutical company, its 27 employees and dozens of doctors suspected of corruption.
BEIJING (AP) — Police detained a monk and his nephew in China's Sichuan province and accused them of instigating the self-immolations of eight ethnic Tibetans on the instructions of the Dalai Lama and his followers, state media said.
Police detained a monk and his nephew in China's Sichuan province and accused them of instigating the self-immolations of eight ethnic Tibetans on the instructions of the Dalai Lama and his followers, state media said.

In science:

These details need not detain us, since we are seeking inspiration rather than philosophical precision.
Evaluating Defaults
This has been done in detain in , so we will only accentuate the main results here, referring the reader to the original paper for a thorough explanation.
A Random Matrix Approach to VARMA Processes
The finer details of the decoherence mechanism, and the work t hat remains to be done to fully understand them, need not detain us here.
How Classical Particles Emerge From the Quantum World
Whatever turns out to be the final configuration, being the star somehow rebalanced or destroyed, the unstable phase must be detained and the vacuum must evolve to some new stationary regime.
Particle creation due to tachyonic instability in relativistic stars
For this end, the reading of Sect. 2 is sufficient and the references cited may be consulted for more detains and proofs of some assertions.
Handbook of normal frames and coordinates
As Alice detains the secret key x and knows the values of r, s, k , l, m, she is able to compute the third unknown variable t.
New variant of ElGamal signature scheme