from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. See private investigator.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Any agent hired by a private party for the purpose of investigation or evidence gathering.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. someone who can be employed as a detective to collect information
Sorry, no etymologies found.
A few months later he was known to have set up a private detective agency above a stamp shop on Rue Drouot.
The girl is Lucy Whitehall, and listen, I got a private detective to trace the calls.
Now the law gives you no redress in such cases; your only resource is absolute indifference to the inquisition thus established, or else to build a fence twenty feet high between your premises; and doubtless the private detective would find a loop-hole in the attic window, from whence, like Dr. Valentine's "Inquisitive Female," she would obtain a view of your back yard, and the announcement would be given: --
THREE WEEKS AFTER SOUZA’S ARREST, Gary Yamaguchi and Slit née Amber Lynn Danziger were found in Reno by a private detective agency hired by the girl’s parents.
In the week that followed, Priscilla fiddled with her lab equipment, meditated upon the beet, spent the funds that she'd been saving to purchase jasmine oil on a private detective ( "I'm positive Ricki Sinatra has my bottle"), and worried, progressively as each day passed, that she'd not hear from Wiggs again.
I was also reading a lot of crime fiction and private detective fiction, writers like Hammett, Goodis, Chandler, Thompson.