Quiz: Remember the definition of mal de mer?

preventive detention

the holding of someone in jail or in an institution because he or she is regarded as a danger to the community.
English Law. imprisonment of habitual criminals for periods ranging from 5 to 14 years during which they are given corrective training or placed under psychiatric and medical care.
1905-10 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for preventive detention
  • He recoils from the subject of preventive detention.
  • Excessively long periods of preventive detention continued to be a problem.
  • At year's end those arrested were under preventive detention, and the investigation was proceeding.
  • Prosecutors are required to include all evidence favorable to the accused in requests for preventive detention.
  • Thus, it expanded the ability of judicial officers to hold defendants in preventive detention.
  • There were no reports of preventive detention or other lengthy pretrial detention.
Encyclopedia Article for preventive detention


the practice of incarcerating accused individuals before trial on the assumption that their release would not be in the best interest of society-specifically, that they would be likely to commit additional crimes if they were released. Preventive detention is also used when the release of the accused is felt to be detrimental to the state's ability to carry out its investigation. In some countries the practice has been attacked as a denial of certain fundamental rights of the accused.

Learn more about detention with a free trial on
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for preventive detention

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for preventive

Scrabble Words With Friends