from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An airtight chamber, usually located between two regions of unequal pressure, in which air pressure can be regulated.
  • n. A bubble or pocket of air or vapor, as in a pipe, that stops the normal flow of fluid through the conducting part.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. an intermediate chamber between the outer air and the compressed-air chamber of a pneumatic caisson.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a chamber that provides access to space where air is under pressure


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Kahvi knew of an air lock on this side of Hemenway, and was making their way toward it.

    The Nitrogen Fix

  • Again, happily, automatic machinery took care of the freezing and dumping of these wastes through a channel leading to an air lock in the unpressurized section aft.

    The Far Call

  • As had been agreed, Zhamia and Genda went at once to the air lock with their supplies of nitrogen producers, while Mort,

    The Nitrogen Fix

  • But the attack on the air lock had been only a decoy — on the far side of the ship, a cargo hold opened suddenly, and a string of space-armored bodies drifted into it.

    Command Decision

  • The air lock opened into a cave about fifty meters wide and long, and five or six high-the roof was far from even.

    The Nitrogen Fix

  • The air lock went through its cycle, replacing most of the human-scented air with a purer oxygen/nitrogen mix, signaling ready after perhaps thirty seconds.


  • The first shuttle load of Mackensee personnel that eased up to Vanguard’s larger air lock swam the tube with helmets sealed.

    Command Decision


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