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tr.v. de·tained, de·tain·ing, de·tains
1. To keep from proceeding; delay or retard: Our friends were detained by heavy traffic.
2. To keep in custody or confinement: The police detained several suspects for questioning.
3. Archaic To retain or withhold (payment or property, for example).

[Middle English deteinen, from Old French detenir, from Vulgar Latin *dētenīre, from Latin dētinēre : dē-, de- + tenēre, to hold; see ten- in Indo-European roots.]

de·tain′ment n.