detent


de·tent

noun \ˈdē-ˌtent, di-ˈ\

Definition of DETENT

:  a device (as a catch, dog, or spring-operated ball) for positioning and holding one mechanical part in relation to another in a manner such that the device can be released by force applied to one of the parts

Origin of DETENT

French détente, from Middle French destente, from destendre to slacken, from Old French, from des- de- + tendre to stretch, from Latin tendere — more at thin
First Known Use: 1688

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