Definition of detective in English:

detective

Line breaks: de¦tect|ive
Pronunciation: /dɪˈtɛktɪv
 
/

noun

1A person, especially a police officer, whose occupation is to investigate and solve crimes: detectives are anxious to interview anyone who saw the car
More example sentences
  • Eight of the suspects were today being quizzed by detectives at undisclosed police stations.
  • Strathclyde Police last night confirmed that detectives had investigated the matter.
  • The investigating detectives reviewed the color surveillance video at the dealership.
Synonyms
investigator, private detective, private investigator, operative; Britishenquiry agent, CID officer, detective constable, DC, detective sergeant, DS, detective inspector, DI, detective chief inspector, DCI, detective superintendent, detective chief superintendent
North American informal peeper, shamus, gumshoe
informal , dated dick, private dick, tec, bogey, hawkshaw, sherlock
North American dated Pinkerton
1.1 [as modifier] Denoting a rank of police officer with investigative duties: a detective inspector
More example sentences
  • ‘One of the prints we have found is yours,’ a Strathclyde Police detective inspector told her.
  • The Q car team will include an advanced driver, detective sergeant and a police constable.
  • He also telephoned a detective inspector and told him he was conducting a search.
1.2 [as modifier] Concerning crime and its investigation: detective work
More example sentences
  • Since the mid-nineteenth century crime and detective fiction has been a prominent part of the output of all the dominant mass media.
  • Jackson was sitting on the couch, watching some type of mystery detective crime fighting show.
  • As well as detective work, crime prevention is also a key priority.

Origin

mid 19th century: from detect. The noun was originally short for detective policeman, from an adjectival use of the word in the sense 'serving to detect'.

Definition of detective in:

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