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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 ?
There are two different types of sears, safety switches, safety switch detents, and safety switch retainers.
The pistol is obviously a first generation SAA; an interesting aspect of the pistol is small detents on the cylinder between each chamber.
This repair kit has the most commonly lost or worn springs and detents for AR-15 rifles and includes four takedown detent springs, four takedown detents, two buffer detent springs, two buffer detents, two firing pin retaining pins, two extractor springs with bumper pads, two selector springs/ejector springs, and two selector detents.
The retainer plate fits into two slots and is retained by detents front and rear.
Detents can be added at 90 and 180 degrees to further enhance operator efficiency.
The new Multi Wheel Encoder features Hall effect sensed incremental encoder output and 12 detents with magnetic indexing.
The detents are firm, the levers and Locks are convenient and intuitive, and the pivoting action is smooth as butter.
Use it to retain springs and detents on rear sight assemblies, for instance.
The saw's tool-free bevel adjustment also provides a bevel capacity of up to 55 degrees with positive detents at 45 and 22.
But operators obviously must check during PMCS that the selector switch aligns correctly with the S, D and T detents and stays in the selected mode during the checks.
The safety lever and rear takedown pin are retained by springs and detents that are held in place by the pistol grip.
It is made of a black nylon material, fits in the A2 buttstock storage compartment and will aid in the installation and removal of the takedown pin detents and springs.