Meaning of LOCK in English


I. ˈläk noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English lok, lokk, from Old English locc; akin to Old Frisian & Old Saxon lok lock of hair, Old High German loc, Old Norse lokkr lock, Latin luctari, luctare to struggle, wrestle, luxus dislocated, Greek lygos withe, lygizein to bend, twist, Lithuanian lugnas flexible; basic meaning: to bend


a. : a tuft, tress, or ringlet of hair as it grows

b. locks plural : the hair of the head

c. obsolete : a tress of false or artificial hair

2. : a cohering bunch of wool, cotton, flax, or other natural fiber : tuft , flock : as

a. locks plural : short inferior wool obtained in small bunches (as from the legs) and not part of the coherent fleece

b. : the cotton lint contained in a single cell of a cotton boll ; also : a cell of a cotton boll

3. : a usually small quantity especially of hay or straw : bundle , heap

II. noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English lok, from Old English loc; akin to Old English lūcan to lock, close, Old High German loh enclosure, prison, cave, opening, Old High German lūhhan to close, Old Norse lok, loka lock of a door, lūka to close, Gothic ga lūkan to enclose, us luk opening, Old English locc lock of hair — more at lock I


a. : a fastening (as for a door, box, trunk lid, drawer) in which a bolt is secured by any of various mechanisms and can be released by inserting and turning a key or by operating a special device (as a combination, time clock, automatic release button, magnetic solenoid)

b. obsolete : hobble , shackle

c. : the mechanism by which the charge or cartridge of a firearm is exploded — often used in combination; see gunlock , matchlock


a. obsolete : a movable barrier across a stream

b. archaic : the space of water between the piers of a bridge


(1) : an enclosure (as in a canal, river, or dock) with gates at each end used in raising or lowering boats as they pass from level to level

(2) : air lock 1


a. : a locking or fastening together : a closing of one thing upon another

b. : a group of objects (as vehicles) intricately massed together so as to impede the freedom or mobility of individual objects : a block or jam especially of traffic


(1) : a hold in wrestling secured on one part of the body

an arm lock

a leg lock

(2) obsolete : stratagem , trick

(3) obsolete : difficulty , dilemma

d. : plaster forced through laths to form a key

e. archaic : a receiver or place for receipt of stolen goods

f. or lock seam : a joint made by folding over two or more lapped edges of sheet metal

g. : the contact of a tooth of the escape wheel of a timepiece with the locking surface of the pallet ; specifically : the amount by which the escape tooth overlaps the pallet at the instant it leaves the impulse face


(1) : the joint at which two panels of a rail fence are locked together

(2) : the triangular area in a field formed by the corner panels of a rail fence


[by shortening]

: oarlock , rowlock

5. : lock forward

III. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English lokken, from lok, n.

transitive verb

1. : to fasten the lock of

lock the door

: make fast with or as if with a lock

closed and locked the box

— often used with up

don't forget to lock up all the doors and windows

lock up the house


a. : to fasten in or out or to make secure or inaccessible by means of or as if by means of locks : confine or shut in or out

lock oneself in

lock up the prisoners

locked their secret in her heart

locking the child in his arms

a ship locked fast in ice

b. : to hold fast or inactive : overcome , fix

a mind locked in contemplation

sleep locking the tired eyelids

3. : to make fast by or as if by interlacing or interlocking of parts

locking arms across the table


a. : to make fast or rigid by the engaging of parts or the action of a restraint especially friction

lock the wheels of a carriage

b. : to hold in a close embrace

locked in each other's arms

also : to grapple in combat

locked in a death struggle

c. : to fasten (imposed letterpress matter) securely in a chase or on the bed of a press by tightening the quoins ; also : to attach (a curved printing plate) to the plate cylinder of a rotary press — usually used with up

4. : to invest (capital) where conversion into money is not easy — usually used with up

had his resources locked up in the canal scheme


a. : to move or permit to pass (as a ship) by raising or lowering in a lock — often used with in, out, down, up, or through

b. : to provide (as a canal) with locks

c. : to divide off (a portion of a river) by a lock — used with off

intransitive verb

1. : to become locked : become fixed or fast by or as if by means of a lock

the door locks easily

2. : interlace , interlock

the sections lock into one another


a. of a vehicle : to permit the fore wheels to swivel round with more or less freedom in turning

b. of wheels : to have such freedom of motion


a. : to build locks to facilitate navigation

b. : to go or pass by means of a lock (as in a canal)

locked into the new canal

- lock horns

IV. adjective

: capable of being made fast : lockable

V. transitive verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Dutch locken, from Middle Dutch; akin to Old English loccian to attract, entice, Old High German lockōn, lucchen to entice, allure, Old Norse lokka, and probably to Old High German liogan to lie — more at lie (tell a falsehood)

archaic : allure , entice , seduce

VI. noun

1. : a controlling hold

had a lock on the market — L.S.Richman

2. : someone or something that is assured of success or a favorable outcome

he was a lock to be elected — Austin Murphy

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.