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4 definitions found
 for detention
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Detention \De*ten"tion\, n. [L. detentio: cf. F. d['e]tention.
     See Detain.]
     1. The act of detaining or keeping back; a withholding.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     2. The state of being detained (stopped or hindered); delay
        from necessity.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     3. Confinement; restraint; custody.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              The archduke Philip . . . found himself in a sort of
              honorable detention at Henry's court. --Hallam.
        [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  detention
      n 1: a state of being confined (usually for a short time); "his
           detention was politically motivated"; "the prisoner is on
           hold"; "he is in the custody of police" [syn: detention,
           detainment, hold, custody]
      2: a punishment in which a student must stay at school after
         others have gone home; "the detention of tardy pupils"

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  109 Moby Thesaurus words for "detention":
     afterthought, apprehension, arrest, arrestation, arrestment, bind,
     block, blockage, blocking, bureaucratic delay, captivity, check,
     clogging, close arrest, closing up, closure, confinement,
     constriction, cramp, custody, deceleration, delay, delayage,
     delayed reaction, detainment, double take, drag, dragging, durance,
     durance vile, duress, ease-off, ease-up, fixation, flagging,
     foot-dragging, halt, hampering, hang-up, hindering, hindrance,
     holdback, holdup, house arrest, immuration, immurement, impediment,
     imprisonment, incarceration, inhibition, interference, interim,
     internment, interruption, jailing, jam, lag, lagging, let, letdown,
     letup, logjam, minus acceleration, moratorium, nab, negativism,
     nuisance value, obstruction, obstructionism, occlusion, opposition,
     paperasserie, pause, pickup, pinch, red tape, red-tapeism,
     red-tapery, repression, reprieve, resistance, respite, restraint,
     restriction, retardance, retardation, retardment, setback,
     slack-up, slackening, slow-up, slowdown, slowing, slowing down,
     slowness, slowup, squeeze, stay, stay of execution, stop, stoppage,
     stranglehold, stricture, suppression, suspension,
     term of imprisonment, tie-up, time lag, wait
  
  

From Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856) :

  DETENTION. The act of retaining a person or property, and preventing the 
  removal of such person or property. 
       2. The detention may be occasioned by accidents, as, the detention of a 
  ship by calms, or by ice; or it may, be hostile, as the detention of persons 
  or ships in a foreign country, by order of the government. In general, the 
  detention of a ship does not change the nature of the contract, and 
  therefore, sailors will be entitled to their wages during the time of the 
  detention. 1 Bell's Com. 517, 519, 5th ed.; Mackel. Man. Sec. 210. 
       3. A detention is legal when the party has a right to the property, and 
  has come lawfully into possession. It is illegal when the taking was 
  unlawful, as is the case of forcible entry and detainer, although the party 
  may have a right of possession; but, in some, cases, the (retention may be 
  lawful, although the taking may have been unlawful. 3 Penn. St. R. 20. When 
  the taking was legal, the detention may be illegal; as, if one borrow a 
  horse, to ride from A to B, and afterwards detain him from the owner, After 
  demand, such detention is unlawful, and the owner may either retake his 
  property, or have an action of replevin or detinue. 1 Chit. Pr. 135. In some 
  cases, the detention becomes criminal although the taking was lawful, as in 
  embezzlement. 
  
  

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