Definitions

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

  • n. A withholding from the rightful owner of property that has lawfully come into the possession of the current holder.
  • n. The detention of a person, especially in custody.
  • n. A writ authorizing the further detention of a person in custody, pending further action.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The right to keep a person, or a person's goods or property, against his will. A type of custody.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One who detains.
  • n.
  • n. The keeping possession of what belongs to another; detention of what is another's, even though the original taking may have been lawful. Forcible detainer is indictable at common law.
  • n. A writ authorizing the keeper of a prison to continue to keep a person in custody.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One who withholds; one who detains, stops, or prevents from proceeding.
  • n. In law:
  • n. In law, the fact of being detained or held in custody: as, a writ of habeas corpus may issue to inquire into the detainer of a prisoner.

Etymologies

From detain +‎ -er. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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