from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An individual part or item; a particular.
  • noun Particulars considered individually and in relation to a whole.
  • noun A minor or an inconsequential item or aspect; a minutia.
  • noun A minute or thorough treatment or account.
  • noun A discrete part or portion of a work, such as a painting, building, or decorative object, especially when considered in isolation.
  • noun A representation of such a part or portion.
  • noun A small elaborated element of a work of art, craft, or design.
  • noun Such elements considered together.
  • noun The rendering of artistic detail.
  • noun A group of military personnel assigned to a particular duty, usually a fatigue duty.
  • noun The duty assigned.
  • transitive verb To report or relate explicitly or in particulars.
  • transitive verb To provide with artistic or decorative detail.
  • transitive verb To assign to a particular duty.
  • transitive verb To clean (a car interior, for example) meticulously.
  • transitive verb To market to (a physician) the drugs sold by one's company,
  • idiom (in detail) With attention to particulars; thoroughly or meticulously.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The service on which one is detailed.
  • To divide or set off; specifically, to set apart for a particular service; appoint to a separate duty: chiefly in military use: as, to detail a corporal's guard for fatigue duty or as an escort; to detail an officer.
  • To relate, report, or narrate in particulars; recite the particulars of; particularize; tell fully and distinctly: as, to detail all the facts in due order.
  • To give details or particulars about something.
  • noun An individual part; an item; a particular: as, the account is accurate in all its details; the point objected to is an unimportant detail; collectively (without a plural), particulars; particulars considered separately and in relation to the whole: as, a matter of detail.
  • noun In the fine arts, etc., a relatively small, subordinate, and particular part, as distinguished from a general conception or from larger parts or effects; also, such parts collectively (in the singular).
  • noun A minute account; a narrative or report of particulars: as, he gave a detail of all the transaction.
  • noun Milit., the selection of an individual or a body of troops for a particular service; the person or persons so selected; a detachment.
  • noun Individually; part by part.
  • noun Synonyms Relation, recital.
  • noun Squad.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To relate in particulars; to particularize; to report minutely and distinctly; to enumerate; to specify.
  • transitive verb (Mil.) To tell off or appoint for a particular service, as an officer, a troop, or a squadron.
  • transitive verb To provide with fine or intricate added decoration.
  • noun A minute portion; one of the small parts; a particular; an item; -- used chiefly in the plural.
  • noun A narrative which relates minute points; an account which dwells on particulars.
  • noun (Mil.) The selection for a particular service of a person or a body of men; hence, the person or the body of men so selected.
  • noun A minor part, as, in a building, the cornice, caps of the buttresses, capitals of the columns, etc., or (called larger details) a porch, a gable with its windows, a pavilion, or an attached tower.
  • noun A detail drawing.
  • noun a drawing of the full size, or on a large scale, of some part of a building, machine, etc.
  • noun in subdivisions; part by part; item by item; circumstantially; with particularity.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun countable Something small enough to escape casual notice.
  • noun uncountable A profusion of details.
  • noun Something considered trivial enough to ignore.
  • noun countable A person's name, address and other personal information.
  • noun military A temporary unit or assignment.
  • verb transitive to explain in detail
  • verb transitive (US (?)) to clean carefully (particularly a car)
  • verb transitive (military) to assign to a particular task


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

French détail, from Old French detail, from detaillier, from de- + taillier ("to cut").


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