detent

noun
de·​tent | \ ˈdē-ˌtent How to pronounce detent (audio) , di-ˈtent \

Definition of detent

: a device (such 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

Examples of detent in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Going beyond the detent brings in the internal combustion engine. Jeff Yip, Houston Chronicle, 13 Sep. 2019 As the name suggests, in E-Power, the vehicle uses the electric motor exclusively — at least until the driver reaches a detent in the accelerator pedal. Jeff Yip, Houston Chronicle, 13 Sep. 2019 The frameless door windows are coupelike and the smart door-hinge design opens without stops (detents), eliminating the chance of a door springing into a wall or other parked vehicle. Mark Maynard, San Diego Union-Tribune, 7 July 2019 With a regular gearstick, drivers choose a transmission option (park, reverse, neutral, drive, etc.) by moving the stick into the corresponding notch or detent. Marwa Eltagouri, chicagotribune.com, 23 Mar. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of detent

1688, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for 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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About detent

Statistics for detent

Cite this Entry

“Detent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/detent. Accessed 21 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Return of Name that Color!

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!