Detail vs Contents - What's the difference?

detail | contents |

As nouns the difference between detail and contents

is that detail is (countable) something small enough to escape casual notice while contents is .

As verbs the difference between detail and contents

is that detail is to explain in detail while contents is (content).




  • (countable) Something small enough to escape casual notice.
  • (uncountable) A profusion of details.
  • * {{quote-magazine, date=2013-07-19, author=(Timothy Garton Ash)
  • , volume=189, issue=6, page=18, magazine=(The Guardian Weekly) , title= Where Dr Pangloss meets Machiavelli , passage=Hidden behind thickets of acronyms and gorse bushes of detail , a new great game is under way across the globe. Some call it geoeconomics, but it's geopolitics too. The current power play consists of an extraordinary range of countries simultaneously sitting down to negotiate big free trade and investment agreements.}}
  • Something considered trivial enough to ignore.
  • (countable) A person's name, address and other personal information.
  • (military) A temporary unit or assignment.
  • A part distinct from the whole.
  • * {{quote-magazine, date=2013-06-07, author=(Gary Younge)
  • , volume=188, issue=26, page=18, magazine=(The Guardian Weekly) , title= Hypocrisy lies at heart of Manning prosecution , passage=WikiLeaks did not cause these uprisings but it certainly informed them. The dispatches revealed details of corruption and kleptocracy that many Tunisians suspected, but could not prove, and would cite as they took to the streets. They also exposed the blatant discrepancy between the west's professed values and actual foreign policies.}}
  • A narrative which relates minute points; an account which dwells on particulars.
  • Synonyms

    * (something considered trivial enough to ignore) technicality, trifle, triviality * (personal information) particulars * contingent, detachment

    Derived terms

    * in detail * detail-oriented

    See also

    * overview * bird's-eye view * big picture


    (en verb)
  • to explain in detail
  • I'll detail the exact procedure to you later.
  • * 2014 , Ian Black, " Courts kept busy as Jordan works to crush support for Isis", The Guardian , 27 November 2014:
  • It is a sunny morning in Amman and the three uniformed judges in Jordan’s state security court are briskly working their way through a pile of slim grey folders on the bench before them. Each details the charges against 25 or so defendants accused of supporting the fighters of the Islamic State (Isis), now rampaging across Syria and Iraq under their sinister black banners and sending nervous jitters across the Arab world.
  • (US (?)) to clean carefully (particularly a car) ()
  • We need to have the minivan detailed .
  • (military) to assign to a particular task
  • Derived terms

    * detailing


    * (to explain in detail) specify * detach


    * * English heteronyms ----




  • (usually plural) That which is contained.
  • It is not covered in your homeowner's policy. You need contents insurance.
    The contents of the cup had a familiar aroma.
  • * {{quote-book, year=2006, author=
  • , title=Internal Combustion , chapter=1 citation , passage=Blast after blast, fiery outbreak after fiery outbreak, like a flaming barrage from within,
  • (pluralonly) A table of contents, a list of chapters, etc. in a book, and the page numbers on which they start.
  • I always start a book by reading the dustjacket and the contents before I really dig in to the content itself.


  • (content)
  • English pluralia tantum ----