• synonyms


[fawr-lok, fohr-]
See more synonyms for forelock on Thesaurus.com
  1. the lock of hair that grows from the fore part of the head.
  2. (of a horse) a tuft of hair above or on the forehead.
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Origin of forelock1

1640–50; fore- + lock2; probably not continuous with Old English foreloccas (plural), attested once


[fawr-lok, fohr-]
  1. a pin or flat wedge passed through a hole near the end of a threadless bolt to fasten parts together.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to fasten by means of a forelock.
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Origin of forelock2

First recorded in 1275–1325, forelock is from the Middle English word forelok. See fore-, lock1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for forelock

Historical Examples

  • He hesitated, biting his lip and plucking absently the tangles from the forelock of his horse.

    Good Indian

    B. M. Bower

  • "Take time by the forelock, you see," said he as he recognized Ashburner.

  • Everybody in the yard touched a forelock to him as he passed.

    The Market-Place

    Harold Frederic

  • The sailor jumped to his feet and touched his forelock civilly enough.

    In the Days of Drake

    J. S. Fletcher

  • A good scout is ready for both and always grips "time by the forelock."

    Boy Scouts Handbook

    Boy Scouts of America

British Dictionary definitions for forelock


  1. a lock of hair growing or falling over the forehead
  2. a lock of a horse's mane that grows forwards between the ears
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  1. a wedge or peg passed through the tip of a bolt to prevent withdrawal
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  1. (tr) to secure (a bolt) by means of a forelock
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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

Word Origin and History for forelock


"lock of hair growing above the forehead," Old English forelocca; see fore- + lock (n.2).

"Opportunity has hair in front, behind she is bald; if you seize her by the forelock, you may hold her; but, if she once escapes, not Jupiter himself can catch her again." ["Dictionary of Latin Quotations, Proverbs, Maxims and Mottos," H.T. Riley, London, 1866]
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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper