Definitions for détentedeɪˈtɑnt, -ˈtɑ̃t

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word détente

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

dé•tentedeɪˈtɑnt, -ˈtɑ̃t(n.)

or de•tente

  1. a relaxing of tension, esp. between nations.

    Category: Government, Foreign Term

Origin of détente:

1905–10; < F; see detent

Princeton's WordNet

  1. detente(noun)

    the easing of tensions or strained relations (especially between nations)


  1. Détente

    Détente is the easing of strained relations, especially in a political situation. The term is often used in reference to the general easing of the geo-political tensions between the Soviet Union and the United States which began in 1971, as a foreign policy of U.S. presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford called détente; a 'thawing out' or 'un-freezing' at a period roughly in the middle of the Cold War. Détente was known in Russian as разрядка. The period was characterized by the signing of treaties such as the SALT I and the Helsinki Accords. A second Arms-Limitation Treaty, SALT II, was discussed but never ratified by the United States. There is still ongoing debate amongst historians as to how successful the détente period was in achieving peace. After the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, the two superpowers agreed to install a direct hotline between Washington DC and Moscow, enabling leaders of both countries to quickly interact with each other in a time of urgency, and reduce the chances that future crises could escalate into an all-out war. The U.S./U.S.S.R. détente was presented as an applied extension of that thinking. The SALT II pact of the late 1970s continued the work off the SALT I talks, ensuring further reduction in arms by the Soviets and by the US. The Helsinki Accords, in which the Soviets promised to grant free elections in Europe, has been called a major concession to ensure peace by the Soviets.

Translations for détente

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


a small lever on a gun, which is pulled to make the gun fire

He aimed the rifle at her but did not pull the trigger.

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