• Lock

    Pronunciation

    • RP IPA: /lɒk/
    • GenAm IPA: /lɑk/
    • Rhymes: -ɒk

    Origin 1

    From Old English loc, from Proto-Germanic *luką. The verb is from Old English lūcan, from Proto-Germanic *lūkaną.

    Full definition of lock

    Noun

    lock

    (plural locks)
    1. Something used for fastening, which can only be opened with a key or combination.
      • 1883, Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island"Give me the key," said my mother; and though the lock was very stiff, she had turned it and thrown back the lid in a twinkling.
      • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, Mr. Pratt's Patients Chapter 13, We tiptoed into the house, up the stairs and along the hall into the room where the Professor had been spending so much of his time. 'Twas locked, of course, but the Deacon man got a big bunch of keys out of his pocket and commenced to putter with the lock.
    2. (computing, by extension) A mutex or other token restricting access to a resource.
      • 2005, Karl Kopper, The Linux Enterprise Cluster...the application must first acquire a lock on a file or a portion of a file before reading data and modifying it.
    3. A segment of a canal or other waterway enclosed by gates, used for raising and lowering boats between levels.
      • 1846, William Makepeace Thackeray, Notes of a Journey from Cornhill to Grand CairoHere the canal came to a check, ending abruptly with a large lock.
    4. The firing mechanism of a gun.
    5. Complete control over a situation.
      • 2003, Charley Rosen, The Wizard of OddsEven though he had not yet done so, Jack felt he had a lock on the game.
    6. Something sure to be a success.
      • 2004, Avery Corman, A perfect divorceBrian thinks she's a lock to get a scholarship somewhere.
    7. (rugby) A player in the scrum behind the front row, usually the tallest members of the team.
      • 2011, Septembe 24, Ben Dirs, Rugby World Cup 2011: England 67-3 Romania, Ashton only had to wait three minutes for his second try, lock Louis Deacon setting it up with a rollocking line-break, before Romania got on the scoreboard courtesy of a penalty from fly-half Marin Danut Dumbrava.
    8. A fastening together or interlacing; a closing of one thing upon another; a state of being fixed or immovable.
    9. A place from which egress is prevented, as by a lock.
    10. A device for keeping a wheel from turning.
    11. A grapple in wrestling.

    Verb

    1. (intransitive) To become fastened in place.
      If you put the brakes on too hard, the wheels will lock.
      • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, Mr. Pratt's Patients Chapter 13, We tiptoed into the house, up the stairs and along the hall into the room where the Professor had been spending so much of his time. 'Twas locked, of course, but the Deacon man got a big bunch of keys out of his pocket and commenced to putter with the lock.
    2. (transitive) To fasten with a lock.
      Remember to lock the door when you leave.
    3. (intransitive) To be capable of becoming fastened in place.
      This door locks with a key.
    4. (transitive) To intertwine or dovetail.
      with his hands locked behind his back
      We locked arms and stepped out into the night.
    5. (intransitive, break dancing) To freeze one's body or a part thereof in place.
      a pop and lock routine
    6. To furnish (a canal) with locks.
    7. To raise or lower (a boat) in a lock.

    Antonyms

    • (to fasten with a lock; to be capable of becoming fasteneed in place) unlock

    Origin 2

    Old English locc. Cognate with Old Norse lokkr (whence Danish lok), German Locke. It has been theorised that the word may be related to the Gothic verb 𐌻𐌿𐌺𐌰𐌽 (lukan, "to shut") in its ancient meaning to curb.

    Noun

    lock

    (plural locks)
    1. tuft or length of hair
      • Bronte Wuthering|XXIIf I consent to burn them, will you promise faithfully neither to send nor receive a letter again, nor a book (for I perceive you have sent him books), nor locks of hair, nor rings, nor playthings?

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