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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ But it was the entente that was at an end.
▪ But those involved in entente floral feel at least they would have had a fighting chance of clinching the title.
▪ Winning entente floral would have meant a big tourism boost for cheltenham - so what went wrong?
Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"an understanding," 1854, from French éntente "an understanding," from Old French entente "intent, intention; attention; aim, goal" (12c.), noun use of fem. past participle of entendre "to direct one's attention" (see intent). Political sense arose in 19c. from entente cordiale (1844); the best-known example was that between England and France (1904), to which Russia was added in 1908.


n. An informal alliance or friendly understanding between two states.

  1. n. an informal alliance between countries [syn: entente cordiale]

  2. a friendly understanding between political powers [syn: entente cordiale]


Entente, meaning a diplomatic "understanding", may refer to a number of agreements:

Entente (type of alliance)

Entente – a type of treaty or military alliance where the signatories promise to consult each other or to cooperate with each other in case of a crisis or military action. An example of an entente is Entente Cordiale between France and United Kingdom.

It has been found that signatories of ententes are less likely to assist each other during wars than signatories of defense pacts, but more likely than signatories of non-aggression pacts. It has also been found that great powers are less likely to start wars against their partners in ententes than against their partners in non-aggression pacts and defense pacts, or states with no alliance with them.

Usage examples of "entente".

The cost would not have affected our decision, but it was certainly not anticipated, and the Entente was ill-prepared to cope with the strength displayed by Germany.

A retreat, upon the successful conduct of which depended the existence of the Force, the security of France, and the cause of the Entente, had been successfully accomplished by the skill of its commanders and still more by the fortitude and unquenchable spirit of the men.

West had coincided more nearly with German plans than with Entente hopes, but both Germany and the Western Allies agreed in miscalculating Russia.

The Russian censorship suppressed the news, and what was allowed to come through from Germany was treated in Entente countries as a German lie.

Great Britain brought to the Entente was the intervention of Japan, which, apart from its alliance with us, had never forgiven Germany the part she took in depriving Japan of the fruits of her victory over China in 1894, and regarded as a standing offence the naval base which Germany had established at Tsingtau and the hold she had acquired on North Pacific islands.

Germans at the Marne and a successful defence of Antwerp by the Entente should induce the Dutch to intervene, the German position in the West would be completely turned.

Germany was massing at Aix and in Belgium to defeat the Entente strategy in Flanders.

The strain which the lack of these resources put upon the industries and shipping of Great Britain was incalculable, and the inability of the Entente to defend the French and Belgian frontiers or to expel the invader prolonged the war for at least a couple of years.

South-Eastern Europe was reacting to the Serbian successes in December, and Rumania, like Italy, and with similar Latin feelings, was negotiating with the Entente about terms of intervention.

A moral force was created in reserve which would in time redress the military disasters which the Entente had yet to encounter.

Possibly some such plan might have had some chance of success had the forces of the Entente been concentrated upon a single effort, and optimistic critics anticipated a breach to the north of Verdun which might close or at least threaten the neck of the German bottle between Metz and Limburg and precipitate a withdrawal from their carefully prepared positions in northern France and Belgium.

Dardanelles to which the Entente had been committed gave little better cause for satisfaction.

Empire and the Entente owed to the British Navy before he could urge his own Government to follow the French example.

Bulgaria could with difficulty be satisfied except by Serbian sacrifices which the Entente was loath to make.

Efforts were made by the Entente during the summer to counteract this attraction by inducing Serbia to reconsider her annexations in Macedonia.