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ratchet

1
[ rach-it ]
/ ˈrætʃ ɪt /
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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.
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Origin of ratchet

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

Other definitions 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. 2022

How to use ratchet in a sentence

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
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