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- Date: 15th century
- 1 : the act or fact of detaining or holding back; especially : a holding in custody
- 2 : the state of being detained; especially : a period of temporary custody prior to disposition by a court
The term can also be used in reference to the holding of property, for the same reasons. The process of detainment may or may not have been preceded with arrest. The prisoners in Guantánamo Bay are for example referred to as "detainees".