(De*tent") n. [F. détente, fr. détendre to unbend, relax; pref. dé- (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.

(De*ten"tion) n. [L. detentio: cf. F. détention. See Detain.]

1. The act of detaining or keeping back; a withholding.

2. The state of being detained (stopped or hindered); delay from necessity.

3. Confinement; restraint; custody.

The archduke Philip . . . found himself in a sort of honorable detention at Henry's court.

(De*ter") v. t. [imp. & p. p. Deterred ; p. pr. & vb. n. Deterring.] [L. deterrere; de + terrere to frighten, terrify. See Terror.] To prevent by fear; hence, to hinder or prevent from action by fear of consequences, or difficulty, risk, etc. Addison.

Potent enemies tempt and deter us from our duty.

My own face deters me from my glass.

(De*terge") v. t. [imp. & p. p. Deterged ; p. pr. & vb. n. Deterging.] [L. detergere, detersum; de + tergere to rub or wipe off: cf. F. déterger.] To cleanse; to purge away, as foul or offending matter from the body, or from an ulcer.

(De*ter"gen*cy) n. A cleansing quality or power. De Foe.

(De*ter"gent) a. [L. detergens, -entis, p. pr. of detergere: cf. F. détergent.] Cleansing; purging.n. A substance which cleanses the skin, as water or soap; a medicine to cleanse wounds, ulcers, etc.

(De*te"ri*o*rate) v. t. [imp. & p. p. Deteriorated (- ra`ted); p. pr. & vb. n. Deteriorating ] [L. deterioratus, p. p. of deteriorare to deteriorate, fr. deterior worse, prob. a comparative fr. de down, away.] To make worse; to make inferior in quality or value; to impair; as, to deteriorate the mind. Whately.

The art of war . . . was greatly deteriorated.

(De*te"ri*o*rate) v. i. To grow worse; to be impaired in quality; to degenerate.

Under such conditions, the mind rapidly deteriorates.

(De*te`ri*o*ra"tion) n. [LL. deterioratio: cf. F. détérioration.] The process of growing worse, or the state of having grown worse.

(De*te`ri*or"i*ty) n. [L. deterior worse. See Deteriorate.] Worse state or quality; inferiority. "The deteriority of the diet." [R.] Ray.

(De*ter"ment) n. [From Deter.] The act of deterring; also, that which deters. Boyle.

(De*ter`mi*na*bil"i*ty) n. The quality of being determinable; determinableness. Coleridge.

(De*ter"mi*na*ble) a. [L. determinabilis finite. See Determine, v. t.] Capable of being determined, definitely ascertained, decided upon, or brought to a conclusion.

Not wholly determinable from the grammatical use of the words.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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