AskDefine | Define detain

Dictionary Definition



1 deprive of freedom; take into confinement [syn: confine] [ant: free]
2 stop or halt; "Please stay the bloodshed!" [syn: stay, delay]
3 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" [syn: delay, hold up] [ant: rush]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. To put under custody.


To be checked:

Extensive Definition

Detainee is a controversial term used by certain governments and their military to refer to individuals held in custody, such as those it does not classify and treat as either prisoners of war or suspects in criminal cases. It is used to refer to "any person captured or otherwise detained by an armed force." More generally, it is "someone held in custody."
The word "Detainee" is from the french word : "détenu" and the french verb "détenir". "Détenu" means prisoner in french "prisonnier". In French, a "détenu" is a guilty person, a "prisonnier" is not necessarily a guilty person, for example the prisoners of war or the persons before a judgment.

U.S. government's captured enemy combatants

The word came into common usage during and after the War in Afghanistan (2001–present), as the U.S. government's term of choice to describe members of the Taliban and al-Qaeda captured in that war, which has generated considerable controversy around the globe. The U.S. government classifies captured enemy combatants as "detainees" because there is no consensus about whether the combatants are "prisoners of war" under the definition found in the Geneva Convention. The controversy arises because the Geneva Convention protects "prisoners of war" but says nothing about "detainees." Many of the detainees of this war were transferred to the Guantanamo Bay detainment camp. These detainees are allowed a trial, but with strong procedural limitations. There were allegations of humiliating treatment and even deaths of such detainees from 2003 through 2005.
In 2005, it was reported that the Bush administration transferred: nearly 70 percent of the detainees at the U.S. detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to three countries as part of a plan, officials said, to share the burden of keeping suspected terrorists behind bars. U.S. officials announced yesterday that they have reached an agreement with the government of Afghanistan to transfer most of its nationals to Kabul's "exclusive" control and custody. There are 110 Afghan detainees at Guantanamo and 350 more at the Bagram airfield near Kabul. Their transfers could begin in the next six months.Washington Post
The Canadian government was critcized for releasing some detainees back to Afghanistan in 2007. They quietly reversed themselves in early 2008.

Juvenile delinquents

It is also used to refer to adolescents who are in police custody, in order to note that they are juveniles (as opposed to being placed formally under arrest).

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

apprehend, arrest, backpedal, backwater, block, bog down, bottle up, box up, brake, bust, buttonhole, cage, check, clip the wings, cloister, confine, constrain, coop, coop in, coop up, cork up, countercheck, crib, curb, dam up, damp, dampen, decelerate, delay, drag, draw rein, ease off, ease up, encage, enclose, fence in, hang up, hem in, hinder, hold, hold back, hold in check, hold in custody, hold in restraint, hold up, immure, impede, impound, inhibit, intercept, interfere, intermeddle, interrupt, intervene, keep, keep back, keep in, keep in check, keep in custody, keep in detention, keep out, lag, let down, let up, lose ground, lose momentum, lose speed, make late, meddle, mew, mew up, mire, moderate, nab, obstruct, oppose, pen, pen up, pick up, pinch, pound, pull in, rail in, reef, rein in, relax, repress, reserve, resist, restrain, restrict, retain, retard, run in, scotch, seal up, set back, shackle, shut in, shut up, slack off, slack up, slacken, slow, slow down, slow up, snub, stay, stop, suppress, take in sail, throttle down, wall in, withhold
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1