ratchet

1
[ rach-it ]
/ ˈrætʃ ɪt /

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.

Origin of ratchet

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

Definition for ratchet (2 of 2)

ratchet2
[ 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

OTHER WORDS FROM ratchet

ratch·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