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[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 Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for detent
  • Include description of the location of the adjustment latch detent if applicable.
  • Include a description of the location of the seat back adjustment latch detent if applicable.
  • It shall not be possible for the switches to be actuated before the latch and the detent engage the striker and the cam.
British Dictionary definitions for detent


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