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 private detective of fiction is a fantastic creation who acts and speaks like a real man. He can be completely realistic in every sense but one, that one sense being that in life as we know it such a man would not be a private detective.”
—Raymond Chandler (18881959)
“What the detective story is about is not murder but the restoration of order.”
—P.D. (Phyllis Dorothy)
“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)