• WordNet 3.6
    • n detent a hinged catch that fits into a notch of a ratchet to move a wheel forward or prevent it from moving backward
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Detent (Mech) That which locks or unlocks a movement; a catch, pawl, or dog; especially, in clockwork, the catch which locks and unlocks the wheelwork in striking.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n detent Anything used to check or prevent motion or approach; a catch; specifically, a pin, stud, or lever forming a check in a clock, watch, tumbler-lock, or other machine. The detent in a clock falls into the striking-wheel and stops it when the right number of strokes have been given. The detent of a ratchet-wheel prevents backward motion.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Detent something to check motion: a catch, esp. in a clock or watch
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. détente, fr. détendre, to unbend, relax; pref. dé-,L. dis-, or de,) + tendre, to stretch. See Distend
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
See Detain.


In literature:

Of course this meant detention till the coroner should arrive.
"The Millionaire Baby" by Anna Katharine Green
The doctor and Mrs. Moffat looked smilingly across at each other in the faint lamp-light, but neither made a movement for Kitty's detention.
"Hubert's Wife" by Minnie Mary Lee
There's such a thing as preventive detention in this country now, you know.
"The Grell Mystery" by Frank Froest
Even Paul Lanier's own existence demands his detention in a madhouse.
"Oswald Langdon" by Carson Jay Lee
After submitting to this wanton detention for two days, Capt.
"The Naval History of the United States" by Willis J. Abbot
The detention of Ferdinand ceased to be an odious breach of faith.
"Memoirs of the Private Life, Return, and Reign of Napoleon in 1815, Vol. I" by Pierre Antoine Edouard Fleury de Chaboulon
The boat reached her mooring in good season, notwithstanding the detention.
"Little By Little" by William Taylor Adams
During his first detention he wrote a series of interesting essays for his newspaper.
"The Modern Scottish Minstrel, Volumes I-VI." by Various
If she was released, she would again be dangerous, and it was uncertain how long Lord Howard would endure her detention.
"The Reign of Mary Tudor" by James Anthony Froude
They were inspired by her desire to see him more than by any misgiving as to the cause of his detention.
"Mary Wollstonecraft" by Elizabeth Robins Pennell

In poetry:

Just for the look of utter comprehension;
The dear gay laugh that only true hearts know;
For these I would from life's severe detention
Arise and go.
"Hunger" by Mary Webb

In news:

Judges may grant reduced sentence following lengthy and illegal detention.
The Abbaseya protesters fortunate enough to be released from detention have revealed horrific stories of torture and abuse at the hands of military officers.
Riots at Australia's immigration detention centers have pushed Prime Minister Julia Gillard's government to take new measures on asylum-seekers.
The Woomera Detention Center, in Australia, was the scene of a detainee breakout in 2002.
Monday's Quay County Detention Center workshop included special guest Bruce Swingle of the New Mexico County Insurance Authority.
Unaccompanied migrant youth in US detention centers rises 50.
New York Times reporter Judith Miller arrives at the Alexandria Detention Center.
Adam Serwer has a helluva strange piece up today about Dianne Feinstein's recently passed amendment blocking indefinite detention of US citizens and legal residents captured on US soil.
But some current and former inmates of the Logan County Detention Center claim that right has been overlooked.
Contributed photos Navy service members from Naval Station Ingleside raise the flags on a new flagpole in front of San Patricio County's juvenile detention center in Sinton.
Will they create a separate-but-equal dinner detente.
Sheriff sued over detention of immigrants.
Jeff Courtney, a Class D inmate, who was working outside the grant County Detention Center on Barnes Road in Williamstown, climbed into a waiting car and drove off June 5.
Colombian exporters wearily eye Venezuela detente.
James Frey — the truculent tough guy who used to compare himself to Hemingway — now sat like a boy in detention, gloomily taking his licks from the nation's headmistress until he seemed to whimper.

In science:

Taken to the Miami-Dade Women’s Detention Center, he was found dead in his cell early on Monday, spokeswoman Janelle Hall said.
Inferring Strategies for Sentence Ordering in Multidocument News Summarization
Taken to the Miami-Dade Women’s Detention Center, he was found dead in his cell early on Monday, spokeswoman Janelle Hall said.
Inferring Strategies for Sentence Ordering in Multidocument News Summarization