dé·tente | \ dā-ˈtänt \
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 fate of the waitresses has become a source of tension between North and South Korea, threatening to strain the cross-border detente that has blossomed over recent months. Andrew Jeong, WSJ, "U.N. Official Seeks Inquiry Into Defection of North Korean Waitresses," 10 July 2018 The current detente began in January when Kim expressed his willingness to send a delegation to the South Korean Winter Olympics the following month. Washington Post, "2 Koreas agree to march together at Asian Games," 18 June 2018 The detente achieved through the Olympic connections between North and South Korea fits the longtime goals of the South’s president, Moon Jae-in, who has advocated engagement with Kim Jong Un’s Pyongyang regime. Ted Anthony, The Seattle Times, "The day after: Pyeongchang breathes, bids Olympics farewell," 25 Feb. 2018 Seoul and Washington describe the move as a temporary measure to prolong ongoing detente on the Korean Peninsula and increase the chances of successful nuclear diplomacy with North Korea. Fox News, "Halting S.Korea-US drills risks weakening N.Korea deterrence," 19 June 2018 His trip came as the two countries were seeking to improve ties after a detente was fostered following the first-ever inter-Korean summit earlier that year. Time, "From Spy Games to Summits, Here Are 10 Historic Moments in U.S.-North Korean Relations," 11 June 2018 But this year's remarkable detente on the Korean peninsula has not raised the younger Hwang’s hopes of seeing his father alive. NBC News, "Ahead of Trump-Kim talks, South Koreans fear their prisoners will be forgotten," 13 May 2018 Macedonian officials have taken to comparing their detente with Greece to the post-war Franco-German reconciliation, conducted through and for Europe. The Economist, "The obstacles on Macedonia’s road to the EU," 28 June 2018 Yet even people unhappy with Trump overall are willing to admire his efforts at detente with North Korea. Fox News, "AP-NORC Poll: Majority approve of Trump's North Korea effort," 22 June 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

History and Etymology for détente


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Last Updated

18 Sep 2018

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The first known use of détente was in 1908

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English Language Learners Definition of détente

: an ending of unfriendly or hostile relations between countries

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to deposit or conceal in a hiding place

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