detain


verb (used with object)

  1. to keep from proceeding; keep waiting; delay.
  2. to keep under restraint or in custody.
  3. Obsolete. to keep back or withhold, as from a person.

verb (tr)

  1. to delay; hold back; stop
  2. to confine or hold in custody; restrain
  3. archaic to retain or withhold
v.

early 15c., deteynen, from Old French detenir “to hold off, keep back” (12c.), from Latin detinere “hold off, keep back,” from de- “from, away” (see de-) + tenere “to hold” (see tenet). Modern spelling is 17c., from influence of contain, retain, etc. Related: Detained; detaining.

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