[ pawl ]
/ pɔl /


a pivoted bar adapted to engage with the teeth of a ratchet wheel or the like so as to prevent movement or to impart motion.

verb (used with object)

to check or hold with a pawl.

Origin of pawl

First recorded in 1620–30, pawl is from the Dutch word pal ratchet Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for pawl

British Dictionary definitions for pawl

/ (pɔːl) /


a pivoted lever shaped to engage with a ratchet wheel to prevent motion in a particular direction

Word Origin for pawl

C17: perhaps from Dutch pal pawl
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