DEFINITION pri-ven-tiv di-ten-shuhn n: Holding someone considered likely to commit a crime
CONTEXT German authorities have said potentially violent activists could face up to two weeks of preventive detention during June's Group of Eight summit in Heiligendamm.
USAGE Protests surrounding the annual G-8 meeting can be unruly, so the Germans want pre-emptive order. But they may have gone overboard with a $17 million fence, above, being built around Heiligendamm and a plan to track activists by using scent samples. The latter was, inconveniently, a favored tactic of the feared East German Stasi secret police.