tr.v. de·tect·ed, de·tect·ing, de·tects
1. To discover or ascertain the existence, presence, or fact of.
2. To discern (something hidden or subtle): detected a note of sarcasm in the remark.
3. To learn something hidden and often improper about: detected the manager in a lie.
4. Electronics To demodulate.
[Middle English detecten, from Latin dētegere, dētēct-, to uncover : dē-, de- + tegere, to cover; see (s)teg- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
de·tecta·ble, de·tecti·ble adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.