private detective

noun
a detective who is not a member of an official force but is employed by private parties.


Origin:
1865–70

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
private detective
 
n
Also called: private investigator an individual privately employed to investigate a crime, keep watch on a suspected person, or make other inquiries

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Example sentences
Knowing this might require some professional help, she seeks out the jaded private detective who lives in her building.
The graphic novel is a good action-packed private detective story all on its own.
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