Definitions for gavelˈgæv əl

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word gavel

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

gav•elˈgæv əl(n.; v.)-eled, -el•ing; -elled, -el•ling.

  1. (n.)a small mallet used esp. by the presiding officer of a meeting or a judge usu. to signal for attention or order.

  2. a similar mallet used by an auctioneer to indicate acceptance of the final bid.

  3. (v.t.)to begin or put into effect by striking a gavel:

    to gavel the committee into session.

    Category: Common Vocabulary

Origin of gavel:

1795–1805, Amer.; orig. uncert.

gav•elˈgæv əl(n.)

  1. feudal rent or tribute.

    Category: Western History

Origin of gavel:

bef. 900; ME govel, OE gafol, akin to giefan to give; cf. gabelle

Princeton's WordNet

  1. gavel(noun)

    a small mallet used by a presiding officer or a judge

Webster Dictionary

  1. Gavel(noun)

    a gable

  2. Gavel(noun)

    a small heap of grain, not tied up into a bundle

  3. Gavel(noun)

    the mallet of the presiding officer in a legislative body, public assembly, court, masonic body, etc

  4. Gavel(noun)

    a mason's setting maul

  5. Gavel(noun)

    tribute; toll; custom. [Obs.] See Gabel


  1. Gavel

    A gavel is a small ceremonial mallet commonly made of hardwood, typically fashioned with a handle and often struck against a sounding block to enhance its sounding qualities. It is a symbol of the authority and right to act officially in the capacity of a chair or presiding officer. It is used to call for attention or to punctuate rulings and proclamations. It is customarily struck to indicate the opening, keep the meeting itself calm and orderly, and the closing of proceedings, giving rise to the phrase gavel-to-gavel to describe the entirety of a meeting or session. It is also used by judges in the courts of some countries and by auctioneers to signal a sale. The gavel is used in courts of law in the United States and, by metonymy, is used there to represent the entire judiciary system, especially of judgeship; to bring down the gavel means to enforce or compel with the power of a court. It also represents the authority of presiding officers; thus the expression passing the gavel signifies an orderly succession from one chair to another. The sound of the gavel strike, being abrupt to start and stop, and clearly audible by all present, serves to sharply define an action in time in a manner clearly perceivable by all, and to endow the action with practical as well as symbolic temporal finality.

Translations for gavel

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


the triangular part of the side wall of a building between the sloping parts of the roof.

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