American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A small mallet used by a presiding officer or an auctioneer to signal for attention or order or to mark the conclusion of a transaction.
- n. A maul used by masons in fitting stones.
- v. To bring about or compel by using a gavel: "The chairman . . . tries to gavel the demonstration to an end” ( New Yorker).
- n. Tribute or rent in ancient and medieval England.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In old English law, rent; tribute; toll; custom; more specifically, rent payable otherwise than in feudal military service.
- n. The tenure by which, according to either the ancient Saxon or Welsh custom, land on the death of the tenant did not go to the eldest son, but was partitioned in equal shares among all the sons, or among several members of the family in equal degree, or by which, according to the Irish custom, the death of a holder involved a general redistribution of the tribal lands. Compare gavelkind.
- n. A partition made pursuant to such custom.
- n. A sheaf of corn before it is tied up; a small heap of unbound wheat or other grain.
- n. A small mallet used by the presiding officer of a legislative body or public assembly to attract attention and signal for order.
- To bind into sheaves.
- n. A dialectal form of gable.
- To partition and distribute (or redistribute) equally (the lands of one deceased) according to the practice of gavelkind. See gavel , n., and gavelkind.
- n. A wooden mallet, used by a judge in a courtroom, or a chairman of a committee, struck against a sounding block to quiet the rabble down.
- n. figuratively The legal system as a whole.
- v. To use a gavel.
- n. historical Rent.
- n. obsolete Usury; interest on money.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. Prov. Eng. A gable.
- n. A small heap of grain, not tied up into a bundle.
- n. The mallet of the presiding officer in a legislative body, public assembly, court, masonic body, etc.
- n. A mason's setting maul.
- n. (Law) Tribute; toll; custom. [Obs.] See gabel.
- n. a small mallet used by a presiding officer or a judge
- Origin obscure. Perhaps alteration of cavel ("a stone mason's hammer"). More at cavel. (Wiktionary)
- Origin unknown.Middle English, from Old English gafol; see ghabh- in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Also — and this undercuts the Feingold point, I suppose — Elana Schor reports for TPM that Pat Roberts, one of the worst Senators ever to hold the intelligence-committee gavel, is also backing Panetta.”
“Nowhere will the impact of Tuesday's Republican gains be clearer than in the likely passing of the speaker's gavel from a San Francisco liberal who banned smoking in part of the Capitol to the heavy-smoking conservative son of a Cincinnati bar owner.”
“But the notion of a Democratic House without Pelosi wielding the speaker's gavel is not as far-fetched as it might seem.”
“Secondly, The particular pleading with those that were offended with this distribution in gavel-kind.”
“As the meeting was convened by Cyntie (why he gets the gavel is a mystery and actually it’s his dad’s 24oz. deadblow hammer) we knew that something special was about to happen.”
“Unfortunately for Pelosi, she was unable to strong-arm Stupak one last time as she becomes increasingly aware of the fact that her hold on the Speaker’s gavel is loosening by the day.”
“Unfortunately for Pelosi, she was unable to strong-arm Stupak one last time as she becomes increasingly aware of the fact that her hold on the Speaker’s gavel is loosening by the day.””
“Holo-gavel is the sort of monstrosity you get when someone unfamiliar with the genre tries to write SF and wants to make sure we KNOW it’s SF.”
“On Wednesday, Nancy Pelosi swore in John Boehner as the new Speaker of the House and handed over her gavel saying, "I now pass this gavel, which is larger than most gavels here.”
“I now pass this gavel, which is larger than most gavels here, but the gavel of choice of Mr. Speaker Boehner, said Pelosi.”
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