De*tent" (?), n. [F. d'etente, fr. d'etendre to unbend, relax; pref. d'e- (L. dis- or de) + tendre to stretch. See Distend.] 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.


© Webster 1913.

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