- 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.
- to chair (a legislative session, convention, meeting, etc.).
- (of a presiding officer)
- to request or maintain (order at a meeting) by striking a gavel.
- to begin or put into effect (a legislative session, motion, etc.) by striking a gavel.
Origin of gavel1
- feudal rent or tribute.
Origin of gavel2
Examples from the Web for gavel
One advantage of Inhofe taking the gavel is that he might have to start playing defense.If You Think D.C. Is Awful Now, Wait Until Wednesday
November 4, 2014
Or maybe show a photo of Ted Cruz holding a gavel chairing a subcommittee.Democrats, You Better Get Angry or You’ll Lose Congress
April 23, 2014
Cruz giving a speech in Senate chamber while licking a gavel à la Miley?Ted Cruz is the Miley Cyrus of the Senate
October 11, 2013
After the gavel, comes the chiming of wedding bells …and the ringing of cash registers.Post DOMA: Wedding Vendors Hear Bells...Ka-Ching!
June 28, 2013
They'd gavel in for a few moments once every couple of days, and then gavel out again.DC Appellate Court Rules Obama's Recess Appointment Unconstitutional
January 25, 2013
It broke up, now, and the judge in the middle rapped with his gavel.Lone Star Planet
Henry Beam Piper and John Joseph McGuire
Mr. Trimmer pounded on the table with his pencil in lieu of a gavel.The Making of Bobby Burnit
George Randolph Chester
Radbourn ruled with a gavel of iron, but they all enjoyed it the more.A Spoil of Office
Silence for a while, that Mr. Price may feel the gavel in his hand, which he does.Coniston, Complete
The Speaker rapped with his gavel, and I failed to hear the opening words.A Far Country, Complete
- 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 and History for gavel
"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.