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air lock

Civil Engineering. an airtight chamber permitting passage to or from a space, as in a caisson, in which the air is kept under pressure.
the impedance in the functioning of a pump or a system of piping caused by the presence of an air bubble; vapor lock.
Origin of air lock
First recorded in 1855-60


[air-lok] /ˈɛərˌlɒk/
verb (used with object)
to place in or confine to an air lock:
to air-lock divers before they descend.
First recorded in 1855-60 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for airlock
Historical Examples
  • As he hastened down the passageway toward his office, the airlock sucked the door against its jamb with an ominous whistle.

  • He passed through the airlock and out into the windswept desert.

    Starman's Quest Robert Silverberg
  • Cochrane, at the moment, felt an impulse to heave him out an airlock as a probable danger.

    Operation: Outer Space William Fitzgerald Jenkins
  • But if he left his position, more men could come in through the airlock.

    Gold in the Sky Alan Edward Nourse
  • He ran through the airlock and back into the hold, starting toward the intercom-phone beside the desk.

    Genesis H. Beam Piper
  • He stalked past Hoskins and punched the button which controlled the airlock.

    Breaking Point James E. Gunn
  • He turned to the leader of the four natives and motioned from Throon to the airlock.

  • Shall one of us get in the airlock, or shall we bring it in with an attractor?

    Skylark Three Edward Elmer Smith
  • He motioned with the blaster and said, "Lead the way to the airlock."

  • Expected a fight, but some big guy let us in through an airlock.

    In the Orbit of Saturn Roman Frederick Starzl
British Dictionary definitions for airlock


a bubble in a pipe causing an obstruction or stoppage to the flow
an airtight chamber with regulated air pressure used to gain access to a space that has air under pressure
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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