What does lock mean?

Definitions for lock

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word lock.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. locknoun

    a fastener fitted to a door or drawer to keep it firmly closed

  2. lock, curl, ringlet, whorlnoun

    a strand or cluster of hair

  3. locknoun

    a mechanism that detonates the charge of a gun

  4. lock, lock chambernoun

    enclosure consisting of a section of canal that can be closed to control the water level; used to raise or lower vessels that pass through it

  5. lock, ignition locknoun

    a restraint incorporated into the ignition switch to prevent the use of a vehicle by persons who do not have the key

  6. lockverb

    any wrestling hold in which some part of the opponent's body is twisted or pressured

  7. lockverb

    fasten with a lock

    "lock the bike to the fence"

  8. engage, mesh, lock, operateverb

    keep engaged

    "engaged the gears"

  9. lockverb

    become rigid or immoveable

    "The therapist noticed that the patient's knees tended to lock in this exercise"

  10. lock, interlock, interlaceverb

    hold in a locking position

    "He locked his hands around her neck"

  11. interlock, lockverb

    become engaged or intermeshed with one another

    "They were locked in embrace"

  12. lockverb

    hold fast (in a certain state)

    "He was locked in a laughing fit"

  13. lock in, lock away, lock, put away, shut up, shut away, lock upverb

    place in a place where something cannot be removed or someone cannot escape

    "The parents locked her daughter up for the weekend"; "She locked her jewels in the safe"

  14. lockverb

    pass by means through a lock in a waterway

  15. lockverb

    build locks in order to facilitate the navigation of vessels

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Locknoun

    Etymology: loc , Saxon, in both senses.

    No gate so strong, no lock so firm and fast,
    But with that piercing noise flew open quit or brast. F. Qu.

    We have locks to safeguard necessaries,
    And pretty traps to catch the petty thieves. William Shakespeare.

    As there are locks for several purposes, so are there several inventions in locks, in contriving their wards or guards. Joseph Moxon.

    A gun carries powder and bullets for seven charges and discharges: under the breech of the barrel is one box for the powder; a little before the lock, another for the bullets; behind the cock a charger, which carries the powder to the further end of the lock. Nehemiah Grew, Musæum.

    They must be practised in all the locks and gripes of wrestling, as need may often be in fight to tugg or grapple, and to close. John Milton, on Education.

    Sergesthus, eager with his beak to press
    Betwixt the rival gally and the rock,
    Shuts up th’ unwieldy centaur in the lock. John Dryden, Æn.

    Well might he perceive the hanging of her hair in locks, some curled, and some forgotten. Philip Sidney.

    A goodly cypress, who bowing her fair head over the water, it seemed she looked into it, and dressed her green locks by that running river. Philip Sidney.

    His grizly locks, long growen and unbound,
    Disordered hung about his shoulders round. Fairy Qu.

    The bottom was set against a lock of wool, and the sound was quite deaded. Francis Bacon.

    They nourish only a lock of hair on the crown of their heads. George Sandys, Travels.

    A lock of hair will draw more than a cable rope. Nehemiah Grew.

    Behold the locks that are grown white
    Beneath a helmet in your father’s battels. Joseph Addison, Cato.

    Two locks graceful hung behind
    In equal curls, and well-conspir’d, to deck
    With shining ringlets her smooth iv’ry neck. Alexander Pope.

    I suppose this letter will find thee picking of daisies, or smelling to a lock of hay. Joseph Addison, Spectator.

  2. To Lockverb

    Etymology: from the noun.

    The garden, seated on the level floor,
    She left behind, and locking ev’ry door,
    Thought all secure. Dryden.

    I am lockt in one of them;
    If you do love me, you will find me out. William Shakespeare.

    We do lock
    Our former sample in our strong-barr’d gates. William Shakespeare.

    Then seek to know those things which make us blest,
    And having found them, lock them in thy breast. John Denham.

    The frighted dame
    The log in secret lock’d. John Dryden, Ovid.

    If the door to a council be kept by armed men, and all such whose opinions are not liked kept out, the freedom of those within are infringed, and all their acts as void as if they were locked in. John Dryden, Æn.

    One conduces to the poets completing of his work; the other slackens his pace, and locks him up like a knight-errant in an enchanted castle. John Dryden, Æn. Dedicat. to the.

    The father of the gods
    Confin’d their fury to those dark abodes,
    And lock’d ’em safe within, oppress’d with mountain loads. John Dryden, Æn.

    If one third of the money in trade were locked up, must not the landholders receive one third less. John Locke.

    Always lock up a cat in a closet where you keep your china plates, for fear the mice may steal in and break them. Jonathan Swift.

    Your wine lock’d up,
    Plain milk will do the feat. Alexander Pope, Horace.

    Death blasts his bloom, and locks his frozen eyes. John Gay.

  3. To Lockverb

    For not of wood, nor of enduring brass,
    Doubly disparted it did lock and close,
    That when it locked, none might through it pass. Fa. Qu.

    Either they lock into each other, or slip one upon another’s surface; as much of their surfaces touches as makes them cohere. Boyle.


  1. lock

    A lock is a mechanical or electronic device which is used to secure an object, such as a door, drawer, or vehicle, by preventing access without the use of a key or a digital code. It is a security tool designed to protect objects from unauthorized access or theft.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Locknoun

    a tuft of hair; a flock or small quantity of wool, hay, or other like substance; a tress or ringlet of hair

  2. Locknoun

    anything that fastens; specifically, a fastening, as for a door, a lid, a trunk, a drawer, and the like, in which a bolt is moved by a key so as to hold or to release the thing fastened

  3. Locknoun

    a fastening together or interlacing; a closing of one thing upon another; a state of being fixed or immovable

  4. Locknoun

    a place from which egress is prevented, as by a lock

  5. Locknoun

    the barrier or works which confine the water of a stream or canal

  6. Locknoun

    an inclosure in a canal with gates at each end, used in raising or lowering boats as they pass from one level to another; -- called also lift lock

  7. Locknoun

    that part or apparatus of a firearm by which the charge is exploded; as, a matchlock, flintlock, percussion lock, etc

  8. Locknoun

    a device for keeping a wheel from turning

  9. Locknoun

    a grapple in wrestling

  10. Lockverb

    to fasten with a lock, or as with a lock; to make fast; to prevent free movement of; as, to lock a door, a carriage wheel, a river, etc

  11. Lockverb

    to prevent ingress or access to, or exit from, by fastening the lock or locks of; -- often with up; as, to lock or lock up, a house, jail, room, trunk. etc

  12. Lockverb

    to fasten in or out, or to make secure by means of, or as with, locks; to confine, or to shut in or out -- often with up; as, to lock one's self in a room; to lock up the prisoners; to lock up one's silver; to lock intruders out of the house; to lock money into a vault; to lock a child in one's arms; to lock a secret in one's breast

  13. Lockverb

    to link together; to clasp closely; as, to lock arms

  14. Lockverb

    to furnish with locks; also, to raise or lower (a boat) in a lock

  15. Lockverb

    to seize, as the sword arm of an antagonist, by turning the left arm around it, to disarm him

  16. Lockverb

    to become fast, as by means of a lock or by interlacing; as, the door locks close

  17. Etymology: [AS. locc; akin to D. lok, G. locke, OHG. loc, Icel. lokkr, and perh. to Gr. to bend, twist.]


  1. Lock

    A lock is a device for raising and lowering boats between stretches of water of different levels on river and canal waterways. The distinguishing feature of a lock is a fixed chamber in which the water level can be varied; whereas in a caisson lock, a boat lift, or on a canal inclined plane, it is the chamber itself that rises and falls. Locks are used to make a river more easily navigable, or to allow a canal to take a reasonably direct line across land that is not level.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Lock

    lok, n. a device to fasten doors, &c.: an enclosure in a canal for raising or lowering boats: the part of a firearm by which it is discharged: a grapple in wrestling: a state of being immovable: any narrow, confined place.—v.t. to fasten with a lock: to fasten so as to impede motion: to shut up: to close fast: to embrace closely: to furnish with locks.—v.i. to become fast: to unite closely.—ns. Lock′age, the locks of a canal: the difference in their levels, the materials used for them, and the tolls paid for passing through them; Lock′-chain, a chain for fastening the wheels of a vehicle by tying the rims to some part which does not rotate; Lock′er, any closed place that may be locked; Lock′et, a little ornamental case of gold or silver, usually containing a miniature.—adj. Lock′fast, firmly fastened by locks.—ns. Lock′gate, a gate for opening or closing a lock in a canal or river; Lock′-hos′pital (see Hospital); Lock′house, the lock-keeper's house; Lock′-jaw, Locked′-jaw, a contraction of the muscles of the jaw by which its motion is suspended; Lock′-keep′er, one who keeps or attends the locks of a canal; Lock′out, the act of locking out, esp. used of the locking out of a teacher by the pupils or vice versâ, or of the refusal of an employer to admit his workmen within the works as a means of coercion; Locks′man, a turnkey; Lock′smith, a smith who makes and mends locks; Lock′stitch, a stitch formed by the locking of two threads together; Lock′up, a place for locking up or confining persons for a short time.—Not a shot in the locker (naut.), not a penny in the pocket. [A.S. loca, a lock; Ice. loka, a bolt, Ger. loch, a dungeon.]

  2. Lock

    lok, n. a tuft or ringlet of hair: a small quantity, as of hay: (Scots law) a quantity of meal, the perquisite of a mill-servant: (Shak.) a love-lock—n. Lock′man, an officer in the Isle of Man who acts as a kind of under-sheriff to the governor. [A.S. locc; Ice. lokkr, Ger. locke, a lock.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. lock

    The striking instrument by which fire is produced for the discharge of a gun, containing the cock, the hammer, the pan, &c. It was first introduced in naval ordnance by Sir Charles Douglas, and has now given way to the detonating hammer and friction-tube, as the old match and the salamander did to the lock.

  2. lock

    A spelling of loch (which see). Also, the general name for any works made to confine or raise the water of a river; a canal inclosed between the sluice-gate above and the flood-gate below.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. lock

    That part of a fire-arm by which fire is produced for the discharge of a piece. The first form of the apparatus was the match-lock, which consisted of a lever holding a lighted match, which by a simple mechanism was brought in contact with the priming. This was superseded by the wheel-lock, invented in Nuremburg, or Italy, according to different authorities, which made its appearance early in the 16th century. This consisted of a wheel wound up against a spring and released by a trigger. In its revolution it evolved sparks by friction against an alloy of iron and antimony, which fell upon and ignited the priming. This was replaced about 1680 by the flint-lock, consisting of a hammer, or cock, holding a flint, which in its descent struck a steel plate. This device gave way in its turn, about 1840, to the percussion-lock, which, in one or another of its many forms, promises to endure indefinitely. The terms matchlock, flintlock, firelock, etc., have also been used to designate the weapon itself.

  2. lock

    In fencing, to seize, as the sword-arm of an antagonist, by turning the left arm around it, in order to disarm him.

Rap Dictionary

  1. locknoun

    Short for dreadlocks. Maintaining control or influence over something.

Suggested Resources

  1. LOCK

    What does LOCK stand for? -- Explore the various meanings for the LOCK acronym on the Abbreviations.com website.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records

  1. LOCK

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Lock is ranked #5058 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Lock surname appeared 6,936 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 2 would have the surname Lock.

    76.3% or 5,294 total occurrences were White.
    10.8% or 753 total occurrences were Black.
    6.9% or 481 total occurrences were Asian.
    3% or 210 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    1.9% or 136 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    0.8% or 62 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.

British National Corpus

  1. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'lock' in Written Corpus Frequency: #3152

  2. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'lock' in Nouns Frequency: #1613

  3. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'lock' in Verbs Frequency: #504

How to pronounce lock?

How to say lock in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of lock in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of lock in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of lock in a Sentence

  1. Jose Antonio Vargas:

    Language has power. And I think we saw that in the Trump administration, how it used dehumanizing terms and how it debased language and in turn debased people, if you call them' alien,' of course you're going to put them in jail, of course you're going to lock them up, of course you're not going to care that you're separating little kids from their parents.

  2. Alan Marshall Beck:

    A boy is a magical creature you can lock him out of your workshop, but you can't lock him out of your heart. You can get him out of your study, but you can't get him out of your mind. Might as well give up he is your captor, your jailer, your boss and your master a freckled-faced, pint-sized, cat-chasing bundle of noise. But when you come home at night with only the shattered pieces of your hopes and dreams, he can mend them like new with two magic words Hi, Dad

  3. Simon Woolley:

    The 'Great' in Great Britain was predicated on slavery and colonialism. And its legacy we still live with today, the structures that lock people out - that's not wallowing in victimhood, that's an honest conversation. And we need to confront that.

  4. Mike Freeman:

    What this sale will do is lock in about 188 square miles of public lands for oil and gas for the long-term, there's a fundamental disconnect with what they're doing with their lease sale and what they've committed on climate.

  5. Mark Hyde of law firm:

    The majority of creditors who have agreed to the restructuring proposal have signed a lock-up agreement, contractually committing them to agree to the restructuring.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for lock

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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