1. The action of detaining, withholding, or keeping something in one’s custody.

forcible detainer. See FORCIBLE DETAINER.

unlawful detainer. The unjustifiable retention of the possession of real property by one whose original entry was lawful, as when a tenant holds over after lease termination despite the landlord’s demand for possession. [Cases: Forcible Entry and Detainer 5.]

2. The confinement of a person in custody.

3. A writ authorizing a prison official to continue holding a prisoner in custody. [Cases: Extradition and Detainers 52.]

4. A person who detains someone or something.

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