When opposing countries reach an understanding or truce, that's detente, meaning a loosening of tensions.

If two nations are having problems, such as disagreements over trade, or even the threat of war, and then they become friendlier to each other, they've reached a state of detente. Detente is a relaxing of tension: diplomacy is working and the countries are on the path of peace rather than the road to war. If you always argue with your sibling, and then you start getting along better, you could humorously say that you've reached a detente.

Definitions of detente
  1. noun
    the easing of tensions or strained relations (especially between nations)
    see moresee less
    type of:
    alleviation, easement, easing, relief
    the act of reducing something unpleasant (as pain or annoyance)
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week