Mech. a part that stops or releases a movement, as a catch for controlling the striking of a clock
Origin of detentFrench détente from détendre, to relax, unbend from dé- (L dis-), from + tendre, to stretch: see tend
A catch or lever that locks the movement of one part of a mechanism.
Origin of detentFrench 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.)
- That which locks or unlocks a movement; a catch, pawl, or dog; especially, in clockwork, the catch which locks and unlocks the wheelwork in striking.
(third-person singular simple present detents, present participle detenting, simple past and past participle detented)
- The action of creating a detent mechanism to lock or unlock movement.