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top: a painting of the Chateau of Chillon by William Baptiste Baird (1847-1899?)
bottom:a detail of the same painting
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 (dĭ-tāl′, dē′tāl′)
1. An individual part or item; a particular: discussed the details of the proposal.
2. Particulars considered individually and in relation to a whole: careful attention to detail.
3. A minor or an inconsequential item or aspect; a minutia: skipped the details to get to the main point.
4. A minute or thorough treatment or account: went into detail about his travels.
a. A discrete part or portion of a work, such as a painting, building, or decorative object, especially when considered in isolation.
b. A representation of such a part or portion: a detail of a Rembrandt portrait illustrating the technique of chiaroscuro.
a. A small elaborated element of a work of art, craft, or design.
b. Such elements considered together: the intricate detail of a rococo altarpiece.
c. The rendering of artistic detail: the fine detail of the painter's brushwork.
a. A group of military personnel assigned to a particular duty, usually a fatigue duty.
b. The duty assigned: garbage detail.
tr.v. (dĭ-tāl′) de·tailed, de·tail·ing, de·tails
1. To report or relate explicitly or in particulars: detailed the charges against the defendant.
2. To provide with artistic or decorative detail: detailed the quilt with colorful appliqué.
3. To assign to a particular duty: "The musicians and other non-combatants were detailed to carry the stretchers" (Peter Cozzens).
4. To clean (a car interior, for example) meticulously.
5. To market to (a physician) the drugs sold by one's company,
in detail
With attention to particulars; thoroughly or meticulously: explained her proposal in detail.

[French détail, from Old French detail, a piece cut off, from detaillir, to cut up : de-, de- + tailler, taillier, to cut; see tailor.]

de·tail′er n.


1. 'detail'

A detail is an individual feature or element of something.

I can still remember every single detail of that night.
He described it down to the smallest detail.
2. 'details'

If you obtain details of something, you obtain information about it.

You can get details of nursery schools from the local authority.
Further details are available online.

Be Careful!
Don't say that you obtain 'detail' of something.

ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.details - true confidential informationdetails - true confidential information; "after the trial he gave us the real details"
info, information - a message received and understood
low-down, the skinny, poop, dope - slang terms for inside information; "is that the straight dope?"
References in classic literature ?
You'll never look finished if you are not careful about the little details, for they make yup the pleasing whole.
He wanted to accept the invi- tation and talk over details.
So, not to go into too many details," went on the professor, "I'll just give you a brief outline of this story of the idol of gold.
Pontellier was very fond of walking about his house examining its various appointments and details, to see that nothing was amiss.
As his car slid downtown on Tuesday morning the mind of Arnold Thorndike was occupied with such details of daily routine as the purchase of a railroad, the Japanese loan, the new wing to his art gallery, and an attack that morning, in his own newspaper, upon his pet trust.
Carr's escape and Christie's uneasiness, Jessie, who had been examining the details of the living-room, broke in upon this conversation.
Worst of all, when the actual duties are comprised in such petty details as now vexed the brooding soul of the old gentlewoman.
There is the little domestic scenery of the well-known apartment; the chairs, with each its separate individuality; the centre-table, sustaining a work-basket, a volume or two, and an extinguished lamp; the sofa; the book-case; the picture on the wall -- all these details, so completely seen, are so spiritualised by the unusual light, that they seem to lose their actual substance, and become things of intellect.
I was invited--with no visible connection--to repeat afresh Goody Gosling's celebrated mot or to confirm the details already supplied as to the cleverness of the vicarage pony.
But, taken for all in all, by far the finest, though in some details not the most correct, presentations of whales and whaling scenes to be anywhere found, are two large French engravings, well executed, and taken from paintings by one Garnery.
It is a kind of anguish that poets have not commonly dealt with; its very words are not admitted into the vocabulary of poets--the details of it cannot be told in polite society at all.
T is like looking too close into the details of Dinah's kitchen;" and St.