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private detective

a detective who is not a member of an official force but is employed by private parties.
Also called private investigator.
Origin of private detective
1865-70 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for private detective
  • 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.
British Dictionary definitions for private detective

private detective

an individual privately employed to investigate a crime, keep watch on a suspected person, or make other inquiries Also called private investigator
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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