Definitions

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

  • n. An individual part or item; a particular. See Synonyms at item.
  • n. Particulars considered individually and in relation to a whole: careful attention to detail.
  • n. A minor or an inconsequential item or aspect; a minutia: skipped the details to get to the main point.
  • n. A minute or thorough treatment or account: went into detail about his travels.
  • n. A discrete part or portion of a work, such as a painting, building, or decorative object, especially when considered in isolation.
  • n. A representation of such a part or portion: a detail of a Rembrandt portrait illustrating the technique of chiaroscuro.
  • n. A small elaborated element of a work of art, craft, or design.
  • n. Such elements considered together: the intricate detail of a rococo altarpiece.
  • n. The rendering of artistic detail: the fine detail of the painter's brushwork.
  • n. The selection of one or more troops for a particular duty, usually a fatigue duty.
  • n. The personnel so selected.
  • n. The duty assigned: garbage detail.
  • transitive v. To report or relate minutely or in particulars.
  • transitive v. To name or state explicitly: detailed the charges against the defendant.
  • transitive v. To provide with artistic or decorative detail: detailed the quilt with colorful appliqué.
  • transitive v. To select and dispatch for a particular duty.
  • transitive v. To clean (a car interior, for example) meticulously.
  • idiom in detail With attention to particulars; thoroughly or meticulously: explained her proposal in detail.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A minute portion; one of the small parts; a particular; an item; -- used chiefly in the plural.
  • n. A narrative which relates minute points; an account which dwells on particulars.
  • n. The selection for a particular service of a person or a body of men; hence, the person or the body of men so selected.
  • n.
  • n. 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.
  • n. A detail drawing.
  • transitive v. To relate in particulars; to particularize; to report minutely and distinctly; to enumerate; to specify.
  • transitive v. To tell off or appoint for a particular service, as an officer, a troop, or a squadron.
  • transitive v. To provide with fine or intricate added decoration.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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.
  • n. 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.
  • n. 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).
  • n. A minute account; a narrative or report of particulars: as, he gave a detail of all the transaction.
  • n. Milit., the selection of an individual or a body of troops for a particular service; the person or persons so selected; a detachment.
  • n. Individually; part by part.
  • n. Synonyms Relation, recital.
  • n. Squad.
  • n. The service on which one is detailed.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. extended treatment of particulars
  • v. assign to a specific task
  • n. an isolated fact that is considered separately from the whole
  • n. a small part that can be considered separately from the whole
  • n. a temporary military unit
  • v. provide details for
  • n. a crew of workers selected for a particular task

Etymologies

French détail, from Old French detail, a piece cut off, from detaillir, to cut up : de-, de- + tailler, taillier, to cut; see tailor.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
French détail, from Old French detail, from detaillier, from de- + taillier ("to cut"). (Wiktionary)

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