A detail is a small fact or spot in a larger entity. That ambiguous smile is just one detail of 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.

Primary Meanings of detail

a small part that can be considered separately from the whole
provide details for
a crew of workers selected for a particular task
assign to a specific task
Full Definitions of detail

n a small part that can be considered separately from the whole

“it was perfect in all details
item, particular
high spot, highlight
the most interesting or memorable part
Type of:
component, component part, constituent, part, portion
something determined in relation to something that includes it

n an isolated fact that is considered separately from the whole

“several of the details are similar”
item, point
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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

n extended treatment of particulars

“the essay contained too much detail
Type of:
discourse, discussion, treatment
an extended communication (often interactive) dealing with some particular topic

v provide details for

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

n a crew of workers selected for a particular task

“a detail was sent to remove the fallen trees”
Type of:
crew, gang, work party
an organized group of workmen

n a temporary military unit

Type of:
force, military force, military group, military unit
a unit that is part of some military service

v assign to a specific task

“The ambulances were detailed to the fire station”
Type of:
assign, set apart, specify
select something or someone for a specific purpose

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