Words related to detect
active word-forming element in English and in many verbs inherited from French and Latin, from Latin de "down, down from, from, off; concerning" (see de), also used as a prefix in Latin, usually meaning "down, off, away, from among, down from," but also "down to the bottom, totally" hence "completely" (intensive or completive), which is its sense in many English words.
As a Latin prefix it also had the function of undoing or reversing a verb's action, and hence it came to be used as a pure privative — "not, do the opposite of, undo" — which is its primary function as a living prefix in English, as in defrost (1895), defuse (1943), de-escalate (1964), etc. In some cases, a reduced form of dis-.
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to cover," especially with a roof. It forms all or part of: deck (n.) "covering over part of a ship;" deck (v.) "adorn;" deckle; detect; integument; protect; protection; stegosaurus; tegular; tegument; thatch; thug; tile; Tuileries.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit sthag- "cover, conceal, hide;" Greek stegein "to cover," stegos "a roof;" Latin tegere "to cover," tegula "tile;" Lithuanian stėgti "to roof;" Old Norse þekja, Old English þeccan "thatch;" Dutch dekken, German decken "to cover, put under roof;" Irish tuigiur "cover," tech "house;" Welsh toi "thatch, roof," ty "house."
"one whose occupation is to investigate matters as to which information is desired, especially concerning wrong-doers, and to obtain evidence against them," 1828, short for detective police, from detective (adj.) "fitted for or skilled in detecting" (by 1828); see detect + -ive.
His duties differ from those of the ordinary policeman in that he has no specific beat or round, and in that he is concerned with the investigation of specific cases, or the watching of particular individuals or classes of offenders, rather than with the general guardianship of the peace, and does not wear a distinguishing uniform. [Century Dictionary, 1897]
1540s, "one who detects," from Latin detector "uncoverer, revealer," agent noun from detectus, past participle of detegere "to uncover, expose," figuratively "discover, reveal, disclose" (see detect). From 1833 as "instrument or device for indicating the presence or state of a thing," originally an arrangement in a lock supposed to indicate attempts to tamper with it.