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 Some analysts believe Oseguera Cervantes attempted to reach a detente with Yépez Ortiz in 2017, and Yépez Ortiz’s reported rejection of the overture prompted the conflict. Kevin Sieff, BostonGlobe.com, "Mexico arrests Santa Rosa de Lima cartel chief ‘El Marro’," 2 Aug. 2020 Along with the liaison office, which since opening in September 2018 had operated as a de facto embassy between the two Koreas, the North blew up what little was left of a two-year period of inter-Korean detente. The Economist, "Fighting mockery with munitions North Korea blows up the South’s de facto embassy," 18 June 2020 The former commander predicted that the next three months, which include a number of important anniversaries related to the Korean conflict, could be markers for a detente. Abraham Mahshie, Washington Examiner, "Former US Forces Korea commander: North Korea needs to be 'agitated' right now," 17 June 2020 The United States and France managed to reach a detente on a brewing trade war sparked by the tax, while the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development tries to broker a global consensus on digital taxation. Washington Post, "Welcome to The Technology 202, our guide to the intersection of technology and politics.," 2 June 2020 But Kenyatta’s new alliances and his detente with Odinga have helped tip the balance of power in the president’s favor. David Malingha, Bloomberg.com, "Kenyan President Consolidates Power as Deputy’s Base Ebbs," 5 June 2020 During a brief period of detente between Taipei and Beijing that lasted from 2009 to 2016, Taiwan was invited to the WHA as an observer. Annabelle Timsit, Quartz, "Taiwan’s status could disrupt the most important global health meeting of this pandemic," 15 May 2020 Traders cheered the move, pushing the yuan to its strongest close in almost six months, but policy wonks were skeptical about a declaration that was timed to coincide with a detente between Washington and Beijing. Cecile Gutscher, Bloomberg.com, "Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day," 10 May 2020 With all sides now sounding the same tune — unity! — the current moment seems to mark a detente. Esther Mobley, SFChronicle.com, "How California’s appetite for Oregon’s grapes fueled a wine war," 22 Apr. 2020

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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The first known use of détente was in 1908

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Last Updated

10 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Détente.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/d%C3%A9tente. Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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English Language Learners Definition of détente

formal : an ending of unfriendly or hostile relations between countries

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