[ dih-tent ]
/ dɪˈtɛnt /

noun Machinery.

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.

Origin of detent

1680–90; < French détente, Old French destente, derivative of destendre to relax, equivalent to des- dis-1 + tendre to stretch; see tender2 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for detent

British Dictionary definitions for detent

/ (dɪˈtɛnt) /


the locking piece of a mechanism, often spring-loaded to check the movement of a wheel in one direction onlySee also pawl

Word Origin for detent

C17: from Old French destente, a loosening, trigger: see détente
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012