Definition of private detective in English:

private detective

(also private investigator)


  • A freelance detective who carries out covert investigations on behalf of private clients.

    • ‘The police fraud squad and private investigators are investigating a scam which after a two-week spending spree has cost a number of city companies and a bank here more than R500000.’
    • ‘There are no formal education requirements for most guards, private detective and investigative jobs, although many private detectives have a college degree.’
    • ‘He also confesses that he carried one with him as a private detective, but only because he was told that the Russian mob had put a contract out on him in 1997.’
    • ‘Three members of Strategic Solutions, the Johannesburg firm of private investigators that investigates fraudulent medical aid claims on behalf of Medscheme, visited Umtata on Thursday.’
    • ‘Behind the scenes, private investigators are doing covert surveillance for government agencies and the insurance industry, or tracing people to serve court orders.’
    • ‘We as a municipality then continued our investigation by appointing a private investigator.’
    • ‘‘I feel we should look into the possibility of hiring private detectives or investigators to gather information against those who responsible for leaving this mess,’ he added.’
    • ‘The prosecution alleged that the wife had a lover in the US and that her husband, a New York native, had hired a private detective to investigate the affair.’
    • ‘The lawsuit judgment noted that a private investigator hired by the injured women and the ongoing police investigation eventually linked him with the vehicle.’
    • ‘Finally, of course, most of us don't have to worry about being investigated by private detectives.’
    • ‘The mechanic was suspended from his job following an investigation into his work by a private detective hired by the company.’
    • ‘The 61-year-old became a private detective about 25 years ago after working as a detective inspector in Lewisham's CID division.’
    • ‘The Daily Dispatch reported last week that private investigators acting for Medshield, a healthcare client of Medscheme, raided the rooms of four Eastern Cape doctors suspected of fraud.’
    • ‘After three years of refusing to accept his death, she starts a long investigation and hires a private detective.’
    • ‘Is the family indicating one way or another whether they will hire private investigators to conduct their own investigation?’
    • ‘State officials are now investigating those private detectives.’
    • ‘It remains unclear how much information the government has about his actions and whether the lawyers and clients who retained the private investigator knew of any wiretapping.’
    • ‘But he had to feel creepy, like the rest of us, upon learning he and his teammates were being investigated by private detectives hired by the parents and coaches of two Little League teams that have lost to the Baby Bombers.’
    • ‘They not only have to make a judgment whether a website is illegal or not - they also have to act as a private detective agency, investigating the accusations and deciding on the merits of the evidence they gather.’
    • ‘As a former private investigator, I have investigated incidents from minor ‘fender benders’ to missing persons and even murder.’
    private investigator, detective, operative
    View synonyms


private detective