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détente

[dey-tahnt; French dey-tahnt] /deɪˈtɑnt; French deɪˈtɑ̃t/
noun, plural détentes
[dey-tahnts; French dey-tahnt] /deɪˈtɑnts; French deɪˈtɑ̃t/ (Show IPA)
1.
a relaxing of tension, especially between nations, as by negotiations or agreements.
Also, detente.
Origin
1905-1910
1905-10; < French; see detent
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for detente
  • Each time, there was an increased police presence and a flurry of arrests followed by a declared victory and then detente.
British Dictionary definitions for detente

détente

/deɪˈtɑːnt; French detɑ̃t/
noun
1.
the relaxing or easing of tension, esp between nations
Word Origin
French, literally: a loosening, from Old French destendre to release, from tendre to stretch
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for detente
n.

1908 as a political term, a borrowing of French détente "loosening, slackening" (used in the Middle Ages for the catch of a crossbow), from Vulgar Latin detendita, fem. past participle of Latin detendere "loosen, release," from de- "from, away" (see de-) + tendere "stretch" (see tenet). The reference is to a "relaxing" in a political situation. The French word was earlier borrowed as detent (1680s) "catch which regulates the strike in a clock."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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detente in Culture
détente [(day-tahnt)]

A period of lessening tension between two major national powers, or a policy designed to lessen that tension. Détente presupposes that the two powers will continue to disagree but seeks to reduce the occasions of conflict.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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8
9
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