Definitions for "Detent"
Keywords:  pawl, ratchet, lever, notch, spring
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.
a stop or other device (such as a pin or lever) on a ratchet wheel. Switch action is typified by a gradual increase in force to a position at which there is an immediate and marked reduction in force.
On a control knob or slide fader, a point where the knob or slider physically "clicks-in". This position is usually there to represent the normal position of the control.
Also known as a "click-stop" or less correctly as a "rachet", these are the momentary stops you feel when exercising the joints in some toys. Possibly a sign of quality, detented joints may be used to force a toy to hold a pose, to insure symmetry in a pose, or to create tactile feedback during play. Ironically, in a some cases, detents are also a cheap mechanical substitute for properly designed friction joints, which require close tolerances, and high quality control.
Feature that indicates actuation point has been reached. Also referred to as tactile feel.
Keeps paint from rolling either forward or backward at the very bottom of the ball stack, in the breech. Prevents the bolt from chopping paint due to a ball moving down the breech prematurely, and another ball partially loading behind it. Also see chop.
Keywords:  bore, mate, connector, smooth, needed
In the connector world this identifies the amount of force needed to make contact with the mating connector. Typical detents are Full, Limited, and Smooth Bore. Full detent requires the maximum amount of force needed to mate. Smooth Bore requires the least.