Buildinga device for keeping a door, gate, lid, drawer, or the like securely closed or fastened, made up of a bolt or system of bolts moved by a key, dial, etc.
(in a firearm) the mechanism that explodes the charge.
Civil Engineeringan enclosed chamber in a canal, dam, etc., with gates at each end, for raising or lowering vessels from one level to another by increasing or decreasing water in the chamber.
complete and unchallenged control or an unbreakable hold:to have a lock on the senatorial nomination.
Slang Termsa sure thing:The team is a lock to win the championship.
to (cause a door, window, building, etc., to) become fastened or made secure by the operation of a lock or locks: [~ + object]I locked the car doors.[no object]The car doors lock automatically.
to shut in a place by or as if by means of a lock:[~ + object]We locked the hamster in its cage.
to (cause to) become fastened, fixed, interlocked, or jammed by or as if by a lock: [~ + object]to lock the steering wheel on a car to prevent theft.[no object]The gears locked into place.
to unite firmly by linking:[~ + object]to lock arms.
to hold fast in an embrace:[~ + object]She locked him in her arms.
to (cause to) be aimed at (a target or goal) and be unable to change: [~ + in + object]The pilot locked in his target.[~ + object + in]The pilot locked it in and fired.[~ + in + on + object]The missiles locked in on the target.
to put into a place, room, etc., and lock its doors: [~ + object + in]They locked him in with the other prisoners.[~ + in + object]The guard locked in the prisoners every night.
[~ + object + out] to keep out by or as if by a lock:I was locked out of my car.
to subject (employees) to a lockout: [~ + out + object]The boss locked out the striking employees.[~ + object + out]to lock them out if they don't negotiate.
to imprison for a crime: [~ + object + up]took him away and locked him up.[~ + up + object]locking up criminals.
to make secure with a lock: [~ + up + object]locked up the money in his safe.[~ + object + up]locked the money up in his safe.[no object]The watchman locked up for the night.
to fasten or fix firmly, as by engaging parts: [no object]The car's brakes locked up.[~ + up + object]Slamming on the brakes will lock up your wheels.[~ + object + up]Something locked the gears up.
Idiomslock horns,[~ (+ with + object)] to come into conflict; clash:They locked horns with their critics.
Idiomslock, stock, and barrel, with every part or item included; completely:He'll sue you lock, stock, and barrel.
Idiomsunder lock and key, securely locked up:to keep important papers under lock and key.
Buildinga device for securing a door, gate, lid, drawer, or the like in position when closed, consisting of a bolt or system of bolts propelled and withdrawn by a mechanism operated by a key, dial, etc.
Buildinga contrivance for fastening or securing something.
(in a firearm)
the mechanism that explodes the charge; gunlock.
safety (def. 4).
Buildingany device or part for stopping temporarily the motion of a mechanism.
Civil Engineeringan enclosed chamber in a canal, dam, etc., with gates at each end, for raising or lowering vessels from one level to another by admitting or releasing water.
an air lock or decompression chamber.
complete and unchallenged control; an unbreakable hold:The congresswoman has a lock on the senatorial nomination.
Slang Termssomeone or something certain of success; sure thing:He's a lock to win the championship.
Sport[Wrestling.]any of various holds, esp. a hold secured on the arm, leg, or head:leg lock.
Time[Horol.](in an escapement) the overlap between a tooth of an escape wheel and the surface of the pallet locking it.
Metallurgya projection or recession in the mating face of a forging die.
Idiomslock, stock, and barrel, completely; entirely; including every part, item, or facet, no matter how small or insignificant:We bought the whole business, lock, stock, and barrel.
Idiomsunder lock and key, securely locked up:The documents were under lock and key.
Buildingto fasten or secure (a door, window, building, etc.) by the operation of a lock or locks.
Buildingto shut in a place fastened by a lock or locks, as for security or restraint.
Buildingto make fast or immovable by or as if by a lock:He locked the steering wheel on his car.
Buildingto make fast or immovable, as by engaging parts:to lock the wheels of a wagon.
to join or unite firmly by interlinking or intertwining:to lock arms.
to hold fast in an embrace:She was locked in his arms.
Civil Engineering, Nautical, Naval Termsto move (a ship) by means of a lock or locks, as in a canal (often fol. by through, in, out, down, or up).
Civil Engineeringto furnish with locks, as a canal.
to become locked:This door locks with a key.
Buildingto become fastened, fixed, or interlocked:gears that lock into place.
to go or pass by means of a lock or locks, as a vessel.
Civil Engineeringto construct locks in waterways.
Idiomslock horns, to come into conflict; clash:to lock horns with a political opponent.
to commit unalterably:to lock in the nomination of the party's candidates.
(of an investor) to be unable or unwilling to sell or shift securities.
Civil Engineeringlock off, to enclose (a waterway) with a lock.
Electronicslock on, to track or follow a target or object automatically by radar or other electronic means.
to keep out by or as if by a lock.
to subject (employees) to a lockout.
to imprison for a crime.
Printingto make (type) immovable in a chase by securing the quoins.
to fasten or secure with a lock or locks.
to lock the doors of a house, automobile, etc.
to fasten or fix firmly, as by engaging parts.
bef. 900; Middle English; Old English loc fastening, bar; cognate with Middle Low German lok, Old High German loh, Old Norse lok a cover, lid, Gothic -luk in usluk opening; akin to Old English lūcan to shut
a tress, curl, or ringlet of hair.
the hair of the head.
short wool of inferior quality, as that obtained in small clumps from the legs.
a small tuft or portion of wool, cotton, flax, etc.
Middle English locke, Old English locc lock of hair, cognate with Old Norse lokkr, Dutch lok curl, German Locke bef. 900