Definitions

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

  • n. A mechanism consisting in general of an escape wheel and an anchor, used especially in timepieces to control movement of the wheel and to provide periodic energy impulses to a pendulum or balance.
  • n. A mechanism, as in a typewriter, that controls the lateral movement of the carriage.
  • n. An escape.
  • n. A means or way of escape.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The contrivance in a timepiece (winding wrist watch) which connects the train of wheel work with the pendulum or balance, giving to the latter the impulse by which it is kept in vibration; -- so called because it allows a tooth to escape from a pallet at each vibration.
  • n. a mechanism found in devices such as a typewriter or printer which controls lateral motion of the carriage
  • n. an escape or means of escape

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of escaping; escape.
  • n. Way of escape; vent.
  • n. The contrivance in a timepiece which connects the train of wheel work with the pendulum or balance, giving to the latter the impulse by which it is kept in vibration; -- so called because it allows a tooth to escape from a pallet at each vibration.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The act of escaping; escape.
  • n. The general contrivance in a timepiece by which the pressure of the wheels (which move always in one direction) and the vibratory motion of the pendulum or balancewheel are accommodated the one to the other.
  • n. In pianoforte-making, that part of the action which provides that the hammer, after striking the string, shall instantly recoil, whether or not the key is released.

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

  • n. mechanical device that regulates movement

Etymologies

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