A detective is an investigator, either a member of a police agency or a private person. The latter may be known as private investigators or "private eyes". Informally, and primarily in fiction, a detective is any licensed or unlicensed person who solves crimes, including historical crimes, or looks into records.
Famous quotes containing the word detective:
“The vast results obtained by Science are won by no mystical faculties, by no mental processes other than those which are practiced by every one of us, in the humblest and meanest affairs of life. A detective policeman discovers a burglar from the marks made by his shoe, by a mental process identical with that by which Cuvier restored the extinct animals of Montmartre from fragments of their bones.”
—Thomas Henry Huxley (182595)
“Everybody thinks detectives do nothing but ask questions. But detectives have souls the same as anyone else.... You know, Mrs. Beragon, being a detective is like, well, like making an automobile. You just take all the pieces and put them together one by one. First thing you know youve got an automobile. Or a murderer.”
—Ranald MacDougall (19151973)
“The best part of myself, thats what you are. Do you think Im going to leave it to the vulgar pawing of a second-rate detective who thinks youre a dame? Do you think I could bear the thought of him holding you in his arms, kissing you, loving you?”
—Jay Dratler, U.S. screenwriter, Samuel Hoffenstein (18891947)