Pawl definition

pôl
A hinged or pivoted device adapted to fit into a notch of a ratchet wheel to impart forward motion or prevent backward motion.
noun
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A mechanical device allowing rotation in only one direction: one type consists of a hinged tongue, the tip of which engages the notches of a ratchet wheel, preventing backward motion.
noun
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A pivoted catch designed to fall into a notch on a ratchet wheel so as to allow movement in only one direction (e.g. on a windlass or in a clock mechanism), or alternatively to move the wheel in one direction.
noun
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To stop with a pawl.
verb
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Alternative Forms

Alternative Form of pawl - Paul

Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
pawl
Plural:
pawls

Origin of pawl

  • Perhaps variant of pale or pole or from French pal (from Old French pale1)

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • Perhaps from Low German or Dutch pal.

    From Wiktionary