- 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for detent
The angle of the detent planes reduces the friction to almost nil.
This want undoubtedly led to the invention of the detent escapement.Watch and Clock Escapements
This is connected with a clockwork and detent arrangement, which simultaneously opens a valve and actuates the lamp flame.
When the required number of hours have struck, the notch approaches the detent, the gravity of which allows it to fall therein.
The number of strokes depends on the distance which the count-wheel has to revolve before being stopped by the detent F.
- the locking piece of a mechanism, often spring-loaded to check the movement of a wheel in one direction onlySee also pawl
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