gavel

1
[ gav-uh l ]
/ ˈgæv əl /

noun

a small mallet used by the presiding officer of a meeting, a judge, etc., usually to signal for attention or order.
a similar mallet used by an auctioneer to indicate acceptance of the final bid.
Masonry. kevel2.

verb (used with object)

to chair (a legislative session, convention, meeting, etc.).
(of a presiding officer)
  1. to request or maintain (order at a meeting) by striking a gavel.
  2. to begin or put into effect (a legislative session, motion, etc.) by striking a gavel.

RELATED WORDS

Origin of gavel

1
An Americanism dating back to 1795–1805; origin uncertain
Can be confusedgavel gravel grovel

Definition for gavel (2 of 2)

gavel

2
[ gav-uh l ]
/ ˈgæv əl /

noun

feudal rent or tribute.

Origin of gavel

2
before 900; Middle English govel, Old English gafol, akin to giefan to give; cf. gabelle
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for gavel

British Dictionary definitions for gavel

gavel

/ (ˈɡævəl) /

noun

a small hammer used by a chairman, auctioneer, etc, to call for order or attention
a hammer used by masons to trim rough edges off stones

Word Origin for gavel

C19: of unknown 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

Word Origin and History for gavel

gavel


n.

"small mallet used by presiding officers at meetings," 1805, American English, of unknown origin; perhaps connected with German dialectal gaffel "brotherhood, friendly society," from Middle High German gaffel "society, guild," related to Old English gafol "tribute," giefan "to give" (see habit). But in some sources gavel also is identified as a type of mason's tool, in which case the extended meaning may be via freemasonry. As a verb, by 1887, from the noun.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper