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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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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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