dé·​tente | \ dā-ˈtänt How to pronounce détente (audio) \
variants: or detente

Definition of détente

1 : the relaxation of strained relations or tensions (as between nations) diplomats brokering a détente also : a policy promoting this
2 : a period of détente the beginning of a détente

Examples of détente in a Sentence

as the countries move toward détente the start of a détente

Recent Examples on the Web

The hard-line approach is reminiscent of Trump’s initial stance toward North Korea, which gave way to a detente and two summits that served to lower tensions, but haven’t led to any major progress. Tracy Wilkinson, latimes.com, "Trump to meet Putin, Xi at G-20, but with unclear goals, expectations are low," 26 June 2019 Iran showed deep interest in penetrating a range of U.S. critical infrastructure before a sort of detente was achieved around the time of the 2015 nuclear agreement, FireEye’s Mr. Hultquist said. Dustin Volz, WSJ, "Iran Tensions Could Prompt Cyberattacks, U.S. Fears," 21 June 2019 The tightening of the decades-old U.S. embargo on Cuba will further wound its crippled economy, as well as hurt U.S. travel companies that had built up Cuban business during the brief 2014-2016 detente between the old Cold War foes. Reuters, The Mercury News, "Cruises to Cuba thrown into upheaval by Trump’s sudden ban," 5 June 2019 On one shelf sits an issue of the Pyongyang Times from the days of detente between the late leader Kim Jong Il and President Bill Clinton. Eric Talmadge, The Seattle Times, "Swedes keep room ready for US diplomats in Pyongyang," 25 Mar. 2019 Troubled by the failure of the U.S. and North Korea to reach a deal on sanctions relief in exchange for Pyongyang’s disarmament, South Korea is pressing the two sides to return to negotiations to prevent the diplomatic detente from unraveling. Andrew Jeong, WSJ, "U.S.-North Korea Nuclear Talks Must Resume Quickly, Says Worried South," 4 Mar. 2019 The North Korean activities suggest Mr. Museveni believes violations in smaller nations won’t halt the momentum toward a detente between Washington and Pyongyang, diplomats and defense analysts say. Joe Parkinson, WSJ, "Never Take Their Photos: Tracking the Commandos, North Korea’s Secret Export," 9 Dec. 2018 As her offer—and his acceptance—to teach at Harvard suggests, both have seen advantage in detente. Brent Kendall, WSJ, "Kavanaugh’s Collegial Nature Could Change Supreme Court’s Tenor," 15 July 2018 The government’s move comes as the end of oil subsidies from Venezuela and President Trump’s freeze ofPresident Obama’s detente with Cuba squeezes its economy. Santiago Pérez, WSJ, "‘Absolute Control’: Cuba Steps Up Artistic Censorship," 25 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'détente.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of détente

1908, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

10 Jul 2019

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The first known use of détente was in 1908

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English Language Learners Definition of détente

formal : an ending of unfriendly or hostile relations between countries

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