Definition of detail in English:

detail

noun

  • 1An individual feature, fact, or item.

    ‘we shall consider every detail of the Bill’
    ‘her meticulous attention to detail’
    • ‘Further details of individual fats and oils are given in the articles on the various nuts and other sources from which they are produced.’
    • ‘Such attention to detail is inherent throughout.’
    • ‘Phase three was to begin in early 2002, but there were no specific details on that particular attack.’
    • ‘You display great attention to detail which can be considered good fortune or a curse when it comes to relationships.’
    • ‘Roz Brown said she could not comment on the details of an individual case.’
    • ‘We've had some discussions, there's been a few minor details to resolve.’
    • ‘More detail on the individual elements contained in these systems is provided below.’
    • ‘Well, the attention to detail is excellent, and as soon as we sat down small plates of ham and pungent Parmesan and some gloriously crisp olive oil appeared out of the ether.’
    • ‘Class discussions focus on specific details, including individual words, even sounds.’
    • ‘Simple attention to detail will help you to avoid injury and reading the facts for golfers will arm any golfer with good, sound and practical help in playing a safe round of golf.’
    • ‘This allows surgeons to see how they perform against their peers, but details of individual results are kept secret.’
    • ‘In his call, the man described a conversation in a Totton pub between men discussing the attack and gave details of specific individuals.’
    • ‘Too many memoirs of late tell us more than we wanted to know about the sordid details of individual lives.’
    • ‘But they will have to provide more specific details on key elements of his plans like what kind of materials will be used in the development.’
    • ‘Further details on the individual ministries are available as follows.’
    • ‘Ask them to examine the pictures carefully, looking for individual details.’
    • ‘Please give full details of any individual claims of more than £100.’
    • ‘The attention to detail is strengthened by the fact that most of your starting characters are key elements to the story.’
    • ‘Attention to detail is one factor that has made his books so believable, and if you then add in an exciting plot you have a classic book of this genre.’
    • ‘But Mike said that was balanced by the extra detail about individual cities and predicted rainfall times.’
    particular, feature, characteristic, respect, ingredient, attribute, item, specific, fact, piece of information, point, factor, element, circumstance, consideration, aspect, facet, side, part, unit, component, constituent, member, accessory
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    1. 1.1 A minor or less significant item or feature.
      ‘he didn't want them to get sidetracked on a detail of policy’
      • ‘The details of the process, which I have got right in essentials but wrong in some fairly minor details, are here.’
      • ‘In a piece written for the New York Review of Books, James Fenton pulls Bizot up for a couple of factual mistakes, but these seem to me to be minor details.’
      • ‘This may seem like a minor detail, until you realize the gaffe.’
      • ‘Evidently about what it is to that reporter's editor - a detail too minor to warrant correction.’
      • ‘There is no point in worrying about these minor details at such important times.’
      • ‘All those are minor details, when it comes down to the question of where this country should be going, in the big picture.’
      • ‘Just a minor detail: it means I have to keep writing letters to parents implying that I'm there to meet their every need when actually I'm out of there on Jan 30th.’
      • ‘I think we are all slowly winding down into holiday mode and worrying less and less about the minor details.’
      • ‘These are some minor details Mr. Langer must have forgotten in his interview.’
      • ‘The statesmen who run our fair country can't afford to worry about minor details like that.’
      • ‘Not only are the small details now significantly more vivid, but the overall levels have been adjusted as well.’
      • ‘He seemed eager to run out the clock as he filled time with digressions and minor details.’
      • ‘That way, nobody ever invites me to drone on endlessly about minor details of the Red Centre.’
      • ‘FitzGerald came across as somebody who frets at minor details.’
      • ‘I had got to a point where I hadn't learned anything new for ages and I was getting overly upset by minor household details.’
      • ‘I disagree with some of the minor details here and there, but yes we do need reform.’
      • ‘We'd all aged a bit, with changes in hairstyles and clothes and a few other minor details.’
      • ‘Step two: wait a year or two and repeat step one, changing the stars and some minor plot details and call it a sequel.’
      • ‘But such minor details do not stop anyone with an agenda from plucking figures out of thin air and claiming they prove a point.’
      • ‘Some minor details have yet to be completed, i.e. heating, phone lines and furnishings.’
      unimportant point, insignificant item, trivial fact, nicety, subtlety
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    2. 1.2 A minor decorative feature of a building or work of art.
      ‘a detail on Charlemagne's tomb’
      • ‘One excuse for not reviewing the important details of a new building is being dazzled by the architect.’
      • ‘In almost every case the building's excellent original details have been retained and enhanced.’
      • ‘Decorative details include laminate flooring and strategically placed glass bricks to allow the flow of light through the home.’
      • ‘I did not bother to look at the beautiful details and decoration, I was so angry and on the verge of tears.’
      • ‘A sense of modernism's refined treatment of detail is garnered in the handling of the existing staircases, now glass encased and extruded from the main body of the building.’
      • ‘But Gluck says his favorite feature is the decorative detail along the top rim of the building.’
      • ‘Here the many details, such as decorative turns, came across with meaning and heartfelt expression.’
      • ‘They're easy to slip on thanks to the super - tough Velcro fastening system which adds a hint of detail and stunningly chic style to the otherwise mediocre design.’
      • ‘The eaves and soffit detail shown on the latest plan appears to be fairly heavy in its visual impact and I would ask you to give this more consideration.’
      • ‘It's a culture known for its richly ornate details in its decorative arts.’
      • ‘The work featured medium shapes, smaller shapes and finally, decorative details.’
      • ‘But, questions are being asked on whether the renovation works were in keeping with the architectural detail of the heritage building.’
      • ‘Mr. Roney took this to be a typical floor detail at the east and west walls.’
      • ‘A shared vocabulary of high-tech construction details links the buildings visually.’
      • ‘The bride wore a duchess satin gown - by Christiana Cature - with a detached train and bow detail, and a two-tier veil.’
      • ‘Mosaic panels can be used as a decorative detail within a large area of standard tiles and aluminium tiles are also an option.’
      • ‘Refined decorative details were concentrated in the entrance and the eaves of the building with rows of geometric shapes.’
      • ‘He is proudly showing off some favourite details in the building he helped design.’
      • ‘Actions of current rifles are similar to those of the LSA models with just a few minor design details.’
      • ‘Georgian homes are similar to Colonials, but feature richer details and ornamentation.’
    3. 1.3 The style or treatment of minor decorative features.
      ‘the classical French detail of the building's facade’
      • ‘Melville House was Fife's first mansion styled symmetrically with classical detail.’
      • ‘The house was one of those imposing two-storey detached properties with brick detail, and I shared the place with five or six other fellas.’
      • ‘No modern replica would have the intricate 1930s art deco details which can be clearly seen from close up.’
      • ‘Exposed stone is a strong feature of the interior, and no fewer than three walls of the living room are stone, with decorative brick detail around the doors and windows.’
      • ‘Firstly, there are some matters of design detail which were never displayed.’
      • ‘Her meticulous attention to detail means she also spends considerable time researching pieces before she begins the restoration and she is currently studying the tapestry detail on the seats.’
      • ‘While poster art continued to prosper, the ornate details of Art Nouveau vanished.’
      • ‘Its monumental scale, classical detail and rational, ordered planning were hallmarks of the style.’
      • ‘The sparingly used stone classical detail gives distinction to a relatively low-cost brick shell.’
      • ‘While the set design has some unrealistic elements to it, the costumes for A Month in the Country feature plenty of period detail.’
      • ‘On the other hand, the depth and detail of the featurettes would complement a minor masterpiece.’
    4. 1.4 A small part of a picture or other work of art reproduced separately for close study.
      ‘detail of right eye showing marks on the lids’
      • ‘The catalog entries on icons are richly illustrated, including details of the larger panels.’
      • ‘We see that the invitation images are details of works that play unnervingly with space.’
      • ‘Update I'm adding larger images of details of the pictures.’
      • ‘This photo is a detail from a stained glass window painted by Chagall.’
      • ‘The tondo of the collage is a photograph, but only apparently a photograph of a detail from Delvaux's Aurore.’
      • ‘Community art initiatives in South Africa tend to always follow the cliché of painting murals or producing mosaic details.’
      • ‘I took snapshots of individual works and of details and became madly obsessed with the paintings.’
      • ‘Figure 11.2 expands the detail to illustrate the significance of the overlaps.’
    5. 1.5details Itemized facts or information about someone; personal particulars.
      ‘the official asked for my father's details’
      • ‘Benefit claimants would also use the card, which could contain health records, fingerprint information and bank details.’
      • ‘Include basic details like contact information, band members, name of song and the name of the album it comes from.’
      • ‘Several have been swiped recently by crooks hoping to glean banking details and personal information.’
      • ‘The directory gives contact details and various information, including where and when they train.’
      • ‘The site is also verisign approved, which means that clients personal information and credit card details are secure.’
      • ‘Visitors were asked to hand over credit card details and personal information.’
      • ‘The fraudsters then pasted a notice to induce victims to divulge their bank information details.’
      • ‘The first was basic core information such as contact details and information on the legal areas practiced by the solicitor.’
      • ‘Create a notebook to capture all the important household and family informational details.’
      • ‘Those interested can glean a bit more information and contact details from their project page at Garage Games.’
      • ‘For more resources and useful contact details see the Further Information: 21+ page.’
      • ‘Van Straaten said all the Nedcor clients who had phoned him wanted to know whether he had any information about their banking details.’
      • ‘Some of the papers contained highly sensitive details of informers and information supplied to Special Branch.’
      • ‘Controlling availability of personal details of sources/informants is also important.’
      • ‘Under the new scheme, people will only have to notify the Met of the keyholder details and the information will be collated in one place.’
      • ‘While they would prefer if callers leave their names and contact details, information can be left anonymously.’
      • ‘Detectives established addresses and other details and passed the information to British authorities.’
      • ‘You can find Ken's web site with all the details and contact information here.’
      • ‘This information matched account details recovered during a search of a flat in Holland where a man was arrested.’
      • ‘One final tip: don't throw away anything that contains any personal information, especially financial details.’
  • 2A small detachment of troops or police officers given a special duty.

    ‘the candidate's security detail’
    • ‘Other predominantly male camps, such as Buchenwald, included female labour details employed on munitions work.’
    • ‘After proceeding outside, team advanced upon Moloctan guard detail on duty around shuttle craft.’
    • ‘He had assigned an enormous security detail to guard the Queen but he still wanted to watch her himself.’
    • ‘At gunnery, they are gate guards and amino detail.’
    • ‘The tubby, middle-aged sergeant in charge of the gate detail scarcely bothered to look up at their approach.’
    • ‘Hank Grotowski is a corrections officer heading the death row detail of a southern U.S. penitentiary.’
    • ‘After an enemy work detail enters the tunnel, the patrol blows up the entrance.’
    • ‘That, he says, as his special branch detail outpace the Big Banana battlebus through Corstorphine traffic, could be a good sign.’
    • ‘She was very composed while he thanked the flight crew and the security detail.’
    • ‘On Friday the State Department confirmed the use of a private security detail managed by officers of its Diplomatic Security Service.’
    • ‘Troops should eat, play, train and even pull support details as squads, platoons and companies.’
    • ‘At the main table the rest of the Bright Eyes sat with the bridge crew, mechanics and technicians, and the small security detail assigned to the ship.’
    • ‘Then two Hummers pulled up and discharged the no-nonsense secret service detail.’
    • ‘He was hurriedly escorted from the area by his security detail and Israeli police.’
    • ‘In that same year, he joined the Army MI Branch with a detail to the Infantry.’
    unit, detachment, squad, troop, contingent, outfit, task force, crew, patrol, section, formation
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    1. 2.1often with modifier A special duty assigned to a detachment of troops or police officers.
      • ‘In the wake of this, I wonder who he is going to give toilet detail to.’
      • ‘He took stock of the small contingent assigned the unpleasant task of burial detail.’
      • ‘They are the rights and duties of daily duty detail, inspection commissions, etc.’
      • ‘The quantitative correlation of special-purpose details in alert crews also changed.’
      • ‘I'm not going to stick you on dish detail or cleaning toilets.’
      • ‘In addition to that commitment, medics worked with civil ambulance on first aid tasks along with a range of other personnel working on rear detail support functions.’
      • ‘Gould recently completed a 3-year detail to the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation Live Fire Office.’
      • ‘Some troops are on cleanup detail in parts of New Orleans the flood never touched.’
      • ‘Mr. Naess testified that his specific assignment in the work detail was ‘clean up’.’
      task, job, duty, chore, charge, labour, piece of work, piece of business, assignment, function, commission, secondment, mission, engagement, occupation, undertaking, exercise, business, office, responsibility, errand
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verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Describe item by item; give the full particulars of.

    ‘the report details the environmental and health costs of the car’
    • ‘Participants recognised pioneer aviator Sir Norman Brearley with the unveiling of a plaque detailing information about Sir Brearley and the country's first airline service.’
    • ‘It's a story he's detailed in a new book called ‘Memoirs of a Mug Punter’.’
    • ‘Residents on Canvey have backed plans to spend ‘civic pride’ cash on a information board detailing the island's history.’
    • ‘The files hold thousands of papers which detail information such as full names, National Insurance numbers, salaries, family contact details and job descriptions.’
    • ‘She tried and failed to make sense of the screens detailing flight information and missed an announcement on the public address system calling her to the gate.’
    • ‘This treasure trove of information details the daring deeds and derring-do of a galaxy of Headingley Stadium stars.’
    • ‘The leaflet was produced in support of the Irish beef industry in light of BSE and provides factual information detailing beef production controls along with three new beef recipes.’
    • ‘In comedic fashion, the dos and don'ts of winning and keeping a man are detailed to assist the hapless female in finding Mr. Right.’
    • ‘The report goes on to detail a list of differences between the way the city and Enmax operate.’
    • ‘More than 2,000 information packs detailing the sort of help available to businesses have been issued by Ryedale District Council.’
    • ‘This report is intended to detail the preliminary fieldwork information found during the excavation of Agaparthea.’
    • ‘And what specifically was detailed in that October report that Major O'Kane saw?’
    • ‘The needs of the school are vast and due to space restraints this reporter could not detail the full list of over-crowding issues.’
    • ‘The report also details a lengthy catalogue of human rights infringements and cultural destruction associated with the dam.’
    • ‘The report obviously came from high ranking deserters because in addition to troop strengths it detailed the individual personalities of the top leaders.’
    • ‘The painful conditions in the Achilles tendon region of these 21 badminton players are detailed in Table 3.’
    • ‘I pleaded with them to help us get a program made detailing the male victims point of view.’
    • ‘Researching the poster campaign I discovered a number of internet web-logs detailing other people's outraged responses.’
    • ‘The accounts of other socialist women are detailed at the Women and Marxism website.’
    • ‘Ian Finnigan, operations team leader for the region, said the agency will be producing a full report detailing how areas were affected.’
    present, describe, set out, set forth, draw up, delineate, frame
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  • 2 Assign (someone) to undertake a particular task.

    ‘the ships were detailed to keep watch’
    • ‘On the arrival in the Sheremetyevo airport, the man was detailed by the local police.’
    • ‘Another method of capturing data that has been used successfully in the past is to detail a Soldier to go around with a tabbed folder to unit members.’
    • ‘Aware that I was detailed to serve as orderly at the Supreme Court, I prepared my tunic the night before, so that the following morning I was only required to slip into it and appear at my post on time.’
    • ‘The regimental commander could detail additional soldiers if necessary.’
    • ‘My team was detailed to recover the Americans from the site.’
    • ‘They had also tracked down the poor horse, detailing someone to ride it back to the police station.’
    • ‘He testified that as a police officer, he was detailed to maintain law and order at Chisokone Polling Station.’
    • ‘The army, public services and Local Authority staff were detailed to assist in organising harvesting operations and in providing transport and food for volunteers.’
    • ‘Soldiers are detailed for duties concerned with the maintenance of discipline and upholding the laws of war.’
    • ‘That part of his evidence can never go because otherwise there is no explanation for why he detailed this person.’
    • ‘The Metropolitan Police were so concerned, two Special Branch officers were detailed to accompany Galloway to a debate on US foreign policy at Cambridge on Thursday.’
    • ‘He is detailed to work with his father who lives 4 miles below Jacksonville.’
    • ‘In times of war and the threat of raiding parties, men are detailed to act as lookouts from the tower.’
    • ‘O.K., France has detailed one officer to help train the Iraqi police.’
    • ‘Two of the guards were detailed to shoot the shark as it was being brought up to the deck.’
    • ‘I also did ‘psychic surgery’ one day at a station I was detailed to.’
    • ‘While he was there, he and other prisoners were detailed to build a monument to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the 1943 rebellion on Rab.’
    • ‘I was detailed to be ‘a breeding unit’ and I was not therefore able to control how I managed the children coming into my family.’
    • ‘The British tried to effect an improvement by detailing liaison officers, but these officers found themselves practically helpless.’
    • ‘A quote from a German soldier speaks of how six men were detailed to each execution - three to target the head, the others the heart.’
    assign, allocate, appoint, delegate, commission, ordain, charge, send, post, nominate, vote, elect, adopt, co-opt, select, choose
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  • 3US Clean (a motor vehicle) intensively and minutely.

    ‘the Buick dealer gave him a job washing and detailing cars’
    • ‘When you're on the road today, or in a shopping mall, observe how many cars are detailed with stripes, lightning bolts or rectangles.’
    • ‘Remove dints and scratches and chips from cars; detail your car inside and out and respray the car, for $1000.’
    • ‘The model is detailed with a sunroof and electric chromic rear view mirror, and boasts a six-speed manual or 4-stage auto sportshift.’
    • ‘Or maybe it's in the garage, spending more time than is really necessary to detail the car.’
    • ‘They can actually change how your Honda looks by having your Honda bumper detailed or painted with whatever design or color you may fancy.’
    • ‘The graphics are utterly sensational, the cars are superbly detailed and the cities and lighting are even more incredible than is totally believable or even necessary.’
    • ‘You probably spend hours detailing your car - so how about spending a few minutes on those nails.’

Phrases

  • go into detail

    • Give a full account of something.

      • ‘But now I am glad that I went into detail from the first, for there is something so strange about this place and all in it that I cannot but feel uneasy.’
      • ‘Without going into detail on their accusations, suffice it to say they should ensure they do their jobs properly before casting blame elsewhere.’
      • ‘I'm not going into detail in a family newspaper.’
      • ‘The diet refers to the ketone as a ‘fat mobilisation substance,’ discussing how it helps to burn fat without going into detail about what ketones really are.’
      • ‘I can't be naffed going into detail about it (although there's a chance you may get to read about it if I feel the need to spew it out).’
      • ‘I feel I ought also to apologise for going into detail!’
      • ‘Without going into detail (see, I'm doing it again) I think people feel that feathers have been ruffled.’
      • ‘It is full colour and goes into detail on all aspects.’
      • ‘A day later, he reiterated his decision to leave the Yankees and went into detail about his rift with Steinbrenner.’
      • ‘Without going into detail, he gets hired for a particularly large job, but he is offered a ‘minimum of 8 figures’.’
  • in detail

    • As regards every feature or aspect; fully.

      ‘we will have to examine the proposals in detail’
      • ‘This panel hints at some of the unusual features of this case so we'll look at it in detail later.’
      • ‘Such a proposal however was not examined in detail in the presentations put to the panel, and so was not ranked.’
      • ‘This was one of the first features to be studied in detail by sociolinguists.’
      • ‘I do not propose to examine the pleadings in detail, but I think that this is a valid criticism.’
      • ‘The guide covers benefits in detail and provides contact details for relevant agencies.’
      • ‘He added that governors and senior staff were due to discuss the proposals in detail on Thursday.’
      • ‘We don't shy from the warts but the truth is that this is not the best forum for examining a man's life in detail.’
      • ‘The criteria for sample selection and the methods are reported in detail elsewhere.’
      • ‘Can't say it was too exciting, but they did talk in detail about several aspects of the shooting.’
      • ‘In the middle set of four studies, the reader is able to explore certain aspects of play in detail.’
      thoroughly, in depth, exhaustively, from top to bottom, minutely, closely, point by point, item by item, blow by blow, meticulously, rigorously, scrupulously, assiduously, conscientiously, painstakingly, methodically, carefully, sedulously, completely, comprehensively, fully, to the fullest extent, intensively, extensively
      View synonyms

Origin

Early 17th century (in the sense ‘minor items or events regarded collectively’): from French détail (noun), détailler (verb), from dé- (expressing separation) + tailler ‘to cut’ (based on Latin talea ‘twig, cutting’).

Pronunciation