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[pad-lok] /ˈpædˌlɒk/
a portable or detachable lock with a pivoted or sliding shackle that can be passed through a link, ring, staple, or the like.
verb (used with object)
to fasten with or as with a padlock.
Origin of padlock
late Middle English
First recorded in 1425-75, padlock is from the late Middle English word padlok. See pod3, lock1
Related forms
unpadlocked, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for padlock
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She came down tall and nonchalant, an oar over her shoulder, unlocked the padlock and rowed unconcernedly across.

    A Tatter of Scarlet S. R. Crockett
  • I put the key back into the padlock and turned it round, but not in the right direction.

    Boyhood Leo Tolstoy
  • As he placed the key in the padlock, he could hear the rattle of the chains of the man inside.

    Murder Point Coningsby Dawson
  • Do you think,” she said, between her teeth, “that it is your mission to padlock me to that—in there?

    A Young Man in a Hurry Robert W. Chambers
  • So long as they were in the entry, we could not move, even to undo the padlock and get the gate open and ready.

  • Let us proceed with our work; can you break or pick this padlock?'

    City Crimes Greenhorn
  • The wind blows and rushes and shakes the loose window-sashes in their frames, while the padlock knocks—knocks against the door.

British Dictionary definitions for padlock


a detachable lock having a hinged or sliding shackle, which can be used to secure a door, lid, etc, by passing the shackle through rings or staples
(transitive) to fasten with or as if with a padlock
Word Origin
C15 pad, of obscure origin
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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Word Origin and History for padlock

"removable lock," late 15c., from lokke (see lock (n.)), but the first element is of unknown origin.


1640s, from padlock (n.). Related: Padlocked; padlocking.


1640s, from padlock (n.). Related: Padlocked; padlocking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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