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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).]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(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]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014



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]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Army Tank-automotive & Armaments Command) issued a Safety Of Use Message (SOUM #18-004) about unintended discharges on M4A1s that had been through the Product Improvement Program, occurring after the operator pulled the trigger with the selector switch between the Semi and Auto detents. The weapon did not fire when the operator pulled the trigger and instead fired when the selector was moved further.
To further boost operator efficiency, detents can be added at 90 degrees and 180 degrees.
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.
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.
The saw's tool-free bevel adjustment also provides a bevel capacity of up to 55 degrees with positive detents at 45 and 22.5 degrees, allowing for fast and accurate bevel adjustments.
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.