noun Etymology: French détente, from Middle French destente, from destendre to slacken, from Old French, from des- de- + tendre to stretch, from Latin tendere — more at thin Date: 1688 a device (as a catch, dog, or spring-operated ball) for positioning and holding one mechanical part in relation to another in a manner such that the device can be released by force applied to one of the parts

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Detent — De*tent , n. [F. d[ e]tente, fr. d[ e]tendre to unbend, relax; pref. d[ e] (L. dis or de) + tendre to stretch. See {Distend}.] (Mech.) That which locks or unlocks a movement; a catch, pawl, or dog; especially, in clockwork, the catch which locks… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • detent — [dē′tent΄; ] also [ di tent′] n. [Fr détente < détendre, to relax, unbend < dé (L dis ), from + tendre, to stretch: see TEND2] Mech. a part that stops or releases a movement, as a catch for controlling the striking of a clock …   English World dictionary

  • Detent — Not to be confused with Détente. Detent is the term for a method, as well as the actual device, used to mechanically resist or arrest the rotation of a wheel, axle or spindle. A detent can be used to intentionally divide a rotation into discrete… …   Wikipedia

  • detent — 1. noun That which locks or unlocks a movement; a catch, pawl, or dog; especially, in clockwork, the catch which locks and unlocks the wheelwork in striking. A UHF tuner having 70 detent positions with fine tuning capability at all locations.… …   Wiktionary

  • detent — /di tent /, n. Mach. a mechanism that temporarily keeps one part in a certain position relative to that of another, and can be released by applying force to one of the parts. [1680 90; < F détente, OF destente, deriv. of destendre to relax, equiv …   Universalium

  • detent — (New American Roget s College Thesaurus) n. catch, pawl. See hindrance …   English dictionary for students

  • detent — de·tent || dɪ tent n. device that holds one object in a certain position relative to another object …   English contemporary dictionary

  • detent — 1) netted 2) tented …   Anagrams dictionary

  • detent — [dɪ tɛnt] noun a catch in a machine which prevents motion until released. ↘(in a clock) a catch that regulates striking. Origin C17: from Fr. détente, from OFr. destente, from destendre slacken …   English new terms dictionary

  • detent — n. Pawl, click, catch, ratchet …   New dictionary of synonyms

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