Other forms: details; detailed

A detail is a small fact or spot in a larger entity. That ambiguous smile is just one detail of Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa.

Detail comes from the French for cutting into pieces, but in English we only use it to refer to the pieces. As a noun, detail means an isolated aspect of something larger. If you're painting a landscape, don't forget details like individual birds and trees. Detail can also mean a team of workers for a special task. If you go on a group camping trip, try for the food detail instead of the trash detail.

Definitions of detail
  1. noun
    a small part that can be considered separately from the whole
    “it was perfect in all details
    synonyms: item, particular
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    high spot, highlight
    the most interesting or memorable part
    a detail or feature that adds visual emphasis to or contrasts with its surroundings
    type of:
    component, component part, constituent, moiety, part, portion
    something determined in relation to something that includes it
  2. noun
    an isolated fact that is considered separately from the whole
    “several of the details are similar”
    synonyms: item, point
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    show 5 types...
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    a small or minor detail
    nook and cranny, nooks and crannies
    something remote
    regard, respect
    (usually preceded by `in') a detail or point
    sticking point
    a point at which an impasse arises in progress toward an agreement or a goal
    technicality, trifle, triviality
    a detail that is considered insignificant
    type of:
    a piece of information about circumstances that exist or events that have occurred
  3. noun
    extended treatment of particulars
    “the essay contained too much detail
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    type of:
    discourse, discussion, treatment
    an extended communication (often interactive) dealing with some particular topic
  4. verb
    provide details for
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    type of:
    dilate, elaborate, enlarge, expand, expatiate, exposit, expound, flesh out, lucubrate
    add details, as to an account or idea; clarify the meaning of and discourse in a learned way, usually in writing
  5. noun
    a crew of workers selected for a particular task
    “a detail was sent to remove the fallen trees”
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    type of:
    crew, gang, work party
    an organized group of workers
  6. noun
    a temporary military unit
    synonyms: contingent
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    type of:
    force, military force, military group, military unit
    a unit that is part of some military service
  7. verb
    assign to a specific task
    “The ambulances were detailed to the fire station”
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    type of:
    assign, set apart, specify
    select something or someone for a specific purpose
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘detail'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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