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A catch or lever that locks the movement of one part of a mechanism.

[French détente, a loosening, from Old French destente, from feminine past participle of destendre, to release : des-, de- + tendre, to stretch (from Latin tendere; see ten- in Indo-European roots).]


(Mechanical Engineering) the locking piece of a mechanism, often spring-loaded to check the movement of a wheel in one direction only. See also pawl
[C17: from Old French destente, a loosening, trigger: see détente]



a mechanism that temporarily keeps one part in a certain position relative to another, and can be released by applying force to one of the parts.
[1680–90; < French détente, Old French destente, derivative of destendre to relax =des- dis-1 + tendre to stretch; see tender2]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.detent - a hinged catch that fits into a notch of a ratchet to move a wheel forward or prevent it from moving backwarddetent - a hinged catch that fits into a notch of a ratchet to move a wheel forward or prevent it from moving backward
catch, stop - a restraint that checks the motion of something; "he used a book as a stop to hold the door open"
rachet, ratch, ratchet - mechanical device consisting of a toothed wheel or rack engaged with a pawl that permits it to move in only one direction
References in periodicals archive ?
The Ron Power fixture holds the crane and precisely locates the #30 drill you'll use to drill the hole for the detent ball and spring.
So we pulled out all the stops, loading it with tons of features like the dust collection system, the extra-large crosscut capacity and customizable miter detent.
Before screwing it all the way down, install the buffer detent and spring in the bottom of the buffer tube hole.
For example, I set mine up at 200 yards for the first position and then in 50-yard increments for each detent thereafter out to 650 yards.
After emergency operations, make sure the winch plunger on the winch control shutoff valve is returned to the centered detent position to disengage the winch.
The accelerator pedal also features a kickdown detent that allows the driver to actively control the downshift of the transmission and the vehicle's acceleration at higher speed.
A stainless steel ball detent and spring hold the sight disk in place.
We now have an ultra-high reliability detent mechanism that is custom-tooled with minimal cost, as well as a rotary switch or potentiometer kit that can be 'snapped' onto a membrane switch.
There are two safety devices designed to keep the hatch in place and your head from getting a heavy-duty dent: the stay device and the detent assembly.
The thiNcoder can function as an encoder or a selector switch, offers customizable detent options, requires no soldering, and no secondary assembly processes.