definitions
  • synonyms

ratchet

1
[ rach-it ]
/ ˈrætʃ ɪt /
|
SEE MORE SYNONYMS FOR ratchet ON THESAURUS.COM

noun

a toothed bar with which a pawl engages.
(not in technical use) a pawl or the like used with a ratchet or ratchet wheel.
a mechanism consisting of such a bar or wheel with the pawl.
a steady progression up or down: the upward ratchet of oil prices.

verb (used with or without object)

to move by degrees (often followed by up or down): to ratchet prices up; Interest rates have been ratcheting downward.

RELATED CONTENT

What Does 😳 Flushed Face Emoji Mean?Luckily, we have the flushed face emoji to express the full range of embarrassing, humiliating, and cringe-inducing experiences you might feel.
READ MORE

RELATED WORDS

disk, drum, roller, prong, whirl, gyre, rotation, circulation, pulley, hoop, circumvolution, round, turn, gyration, circuit, twirl, pivot, spin, roll, ring

Nearby words

ratbag, ratbaggery, ratbite fever, ratcatcher, ratch, ratchet, ratchet effect, ratchet jack, ratchet wheel, rate, rate base

Origin of ratchet

1
1650–60; alteration of French rochet; Middle French rocquet a blunt lance-head < Germanic

Definition for ratchet (2 of 2)

ratchet

2
[ rach-it ]
/ ˈrætʃ ɪt /

adjective Slang.

flashy, unrefined, etc.; low-class: ratchet girls wearing too much makeup.
exhibiting or affirming low-class traits in a way that is considered authentic: Better to stay a ratchet bitch than become a bougie poser like her.
extremely good; awesome.
Also ratched [racht] /rætʃt/.

Origin of ratchet

2
First recorded in 1990–95; from a dance and genre of hip-hop music originating in Shreveport, Louisiana
Related formsratch·et·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ratchet

British Dictionary definitions for ratchet

ratchet

/ (ˈrætʃɪt) /

noun

a device in which a toothed rack or wheel is engaged by a pawl to permit motion in one direction only
the toothed rack or wheel forming part of such a device

verb

to operate using a ratchet
(usually foll by up or down) to increase or decrease, esp irreversiblyelectricity prices will ratchet up this year; Hitchcock ratchets up the tension once again

Word Origin for ratchet

C17: from French rochet, from Old French rocquet blunt head of a lance, of Germanic origin: compare Old High German rocko distaff
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