Entries linking to detainee
early 15c. (implied in deteined), "keep back or away, withhold," from Old French detenir "to hold off, keep back" (12c.), from Latin detinere "hold off, keep back," from de "from, away" (see de-) + tenere "to hold" (from PIE root *ten- "to stretch").
Legal sense of "to hold in custody" is from late 15c. (late 13c. in Anglo-French). Meaning "keep or restrain from proceeding" is from 1590s. Modern spelling is 17c., from influence of contain, retain, etc. Related: Detained; detaining.
Not to be confused with the French -ée that is a feminine noun ending (as in fiancée), which is from Latin -ata.
updated on August 05, 2018