verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
- to commit unalterably: to lock in the nomination of the party's candidates.
- (of an investor) to be unable or unwilling to sell or shift securities.
- to keep out by or as if by a lock.
- to subject (employees) to a lockout.
- to imprison for a crime.
- Printing.to make (type) immovable in a chase by securing the quoins.
- to fasten or secure with a lock or locks.
- to lock the doors of a house, automobile, etc.
- to fasten or fix firmly, as by engaging parts.
- lock bay,
- lock horns,
- lock in,
- lock nut,
- lock on to
Origin of lock1
- the hair of the head.
- short wool of inferior quality, as that obtained in small clumps from the legs.
Origin of lock2
Examples from the Web for lock
In many ways, she seems a lock for the win, but her atheism puts her entire character in question.The Good Wife’s Religion Politics: Voters Have No Faith in Alicia's Atheism|Regina Lizik|November 24, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Host and guest pop and lock on cardboard—the only proper surface for breakdancing—and in no way did they have dancing doubles.Breakdancing Brad Pitt, Chainsaw Massacre Prank, and More Viral Videos|The Daily Beast Video|October 19, 2014|DAILY BEAST
To lock them in as customers—and draw in more Americans who rely on government aid—Walmart wants to be their bank, too.
Inserting my key into the lock, I had just cracked the door open when a face appeared in the window.
Instead of a lock and key, you get “strong encryption to protect evidence data in transit and at rest.”Your Arrest Video Is Going Online. Who Will See It?|Jacob Siegel|September 11, 2014|DAILY BEAST
But it won't be much use unless you can carry me upstairs and lock me in my room.Mr. Prohack|E. Arnold Bennett
This process is termed the retinaculum, and serves, in conjunction with the frenulum, to lock the wings together during flight.New Zealand Moths and Butterflies|G. V. Hudson
But he is most excellent company, that man, and I want him to come and see me at my Lock, up the river.'Our Mutual Friend|Charles Dickens
So Devil go an' lock up the gal in a bar, an' lef' the old lady to watch if the gal is going to get 'way.Jamaican Song and Story|Walter Jekyll
Presently Mr. Grey's measured tread was heard coming up stairs, and next his hand was on the lock.
- a section of a canal or river that may be closed off by gates to control the water level and the raising and lowering of vessels that pass through it
- (as modifier)a lock gate
Word Origin for lock
Word Origin for lock
"means of fastening," Old English loc "bolt, fastening; barrier, enclosure," from Proto-Germanic *lukan (cf. Old Norse lok "fastening, lock," Gothic usluks "opening," Old High German loh "dungeon," German Loch "opening, hole," Dutch luik "shutter, trapdoor"). "The great diversity of meaning in the Teut. words seems to indicate two or more independent but formally identical substantival formations from the root."
The Old English sense "barrier, enclosure" led to the specific meaning "barrier on a river" (c.1300), and the more specific sense "gate and sluice system on a water channel used as a means of raising and lowering boats" (1570s). Wrestling sense is from c.1600. Phrase under lock and key attested from early 14c.
"tress of hair," Old English locc "lock of hair, curl," from Proto-Germanic *lukkoz (cf. Old Norse lokkr, Old Saxon, Old Frisian, Dutch lok, Old High German loc, German Locke "lock of hair"), from PIE *lugnos-, perhaps related to Greek lygos "pliant twig, withe," Lithuanian lugnas "flexible."
"to fasten with a lock," c.1300, from Old English lucan "to lock, to close" (class II strong verb; past tense leac, past participle locen), from the same root as lock (n.1). Cognate with Old Frisian luka "to close," Old Saxon lukan, Old High German luhhan, Old Norse luka, Gothic galukan. Meaning "to embrace closely" is from 1610s. Related: Locked; locking. Slang lock horns "fight" is from 1839.
In addition to the idioms beginning with lock
- lock horns
- lock in
- lock out
- lock the barn door after the horse has bolted
- lock up
- under lock and key