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

  • n. A device operated by a key, combination, or keycard and used, as on a door, for holding, closing, or securing.
  • n. A section of a waterway, such as a canal, closed off with gates, in which vessels in transit are raised or lowered by raising or lowering the water level of that section.
  • n. A mechanism in a firearm for exploding the charge.
  • n. An interlocking or entanglement of elements or parts.
  • n. Sports A hold in wrestling or self-defense that is secured on a part of an opponent's body.
  • n. A secure hold; control: The distributor has a lock on most of the market.
  • n. A sure thing; a certainty: His promotion is a lock.
  • transitive v. To fasten the lock of: close and lock a drawer.
  • transitive v. To shut or make secure with or as if with locks: locked the house.
  • transitive v. To confine or exclude by or as if by means of a lock: locked the dog in for the night; locked the criminal up in a cell.
  • transitive v. To fix in place so that movement or escape is impossible; hold fast: The ship was locked in the ice through the winter. She felt that she had become locked into a binding agreement.
  • transitive v. To sight and follow (a moving target) automatically: locked the enemy fighter in the gun sights.
  • transitive v. To aim (a weapon or other device) at a moving target so as to follow it automatically: "The pilot had locked his targeting radar on the slow-moving frigate” ( Ed Magnuson).
  • transitive v. To engage and interlock securely so as to be immobile.
  • transitive v. To clasp or link firmly; intertwine: locked arms and walked away.
  • transitive v. To bind in close struggle or battle: The two dogs were locked in combat.
  • transitive v. To equip (a waterway) with locks.
  • transitive v. To pass (a vessel) through a lock.
  • transitive v. Printing To secure (letterpress type) in a chase or press bed by tightening the quoins.
  • transitive v. Printing To fasten (a curved plate) to the cylinder of a rotary press.
  • transitive v. To invest (funds) in such a way that they cannot easily be converted into cash.
  • transitive v. Computer Science To end the processing of (a magnetic tape or disk) in such a way as to deny access to its contents.
  • transitive v. Computer Science To protect (a file) from changes or deletion.
  • intransitive v. To become fastened by or as if by means of a lock: The door locks automatically when shut.
  • intransitive v. To become entangled; interlock.
  • intransitive v. To become rigid or immobile: The mechanism tends to lock in cold weather.
  • intransitive v. To pass through a lock or locks in a waterway.
  • lock out To withhold work from (employees) during a labor dispute.
  • idiom lock horns To become embroiled in conflict.
  • idiom lock, stock, and barrel To the greatest or most complete extent; wholly: an estate that was auctioned off lock, stock, and barrel.
  • idiom under lock and key Securely locked up.
  • n. A length or curl of hair; a tress.
  • n. The hair of the head. Often used in the plural.
  • n. A small wisp or tuft, as of wool or cotton.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Something used for fastening, which can only be opened with a key or combination.
  • n. A mutex or other token restricting access to a resource.
  • n. A segment of a canal or other waterway enclosed by gates, used for raising and lowering boats between levels.
  • n. The firing mechanism of a gun.
  • n. Complete control over a situation.
  • n. Something sure to be a success.
  • n. A player in the scrum behind the front row, usually the tallest members of the team.
  • n. tuft or length of hair
  • v. To become fastened in place.
  • v. To fasten with a lock.
  • v. To be capable of becoming fastened in place.
  • v. To intertwine or dovetail.
  • v. To freeze one's body or a part thereof in place.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A tuft of hair; a flock or small quantity of wool, hay, or other like substance; a tress or ringlet of hair.
  • n. 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.
  • n. A fastening together or interlacing; a closing of one thing upon another; a state of being fixed or immovable.
  • n. A place from which egress is prevented, as by a lock.
  • n. The barrier or works which confine the water of a stream or canal.
  • n. 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.
  • n. That part or apparatus of a firearm by which the charge is exploded
  • n. A device for keeping a wheel from turning.
  • n. A grapple in wrestling.
  • intransitive v. To become fast, as by means of a lock or by interlacing.
  • transitive v. To fasten with a lock, or as with a lock; to make fast; to prevent free movement of
  • transitive v. To prevent ingress or access to, or exit from, by fastening the lock or locks of; -- often with up. etc.
  • transitive v. 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
  • transitive v. To link together; to clasp closely.
  • transitive v. To furnish with locks; also, to raise or lower (a boat) in a lock.
  • transitive v. To seize, as the sword arm of an antagonist, by turning the left arm around it, to disarm him.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To close; shut; now, specifically, to close and fasten by means of a lock and key: as, to lock a door or a trunk.
  • To fasten so as to impede motion: as, to lock a wheel.
  • To shut (up) or confine with or as if with a lock, or in an inclosed place; close or fasten (in): with up or in.
  • To close or make fast; press closely together, as separate portions; fix steadfastly or immovably: as, the streams are locked by ice.
  • To join or unite firmly, as by intertwining, interlinking, or infolding: as, to lock arms.
  • To embrace closely; infold.
  • To furnish with a lock.
  • In fencing, to seize, as the sword-arm of an antagonist, by turning the left arm round it, after closing the passade, shell to shell, in order to disarm him.
  • To shut out; prevent from gaining access (to).
  • To enable to pass through a lock, as in a canal. See lock, n., 8.
  • (b To confine; restrain or secure by locking or fastening in: as, to lock up a prisoner; to lock up silver.
  • To secure or place in such a position as not to be available for use: as, his money was locked up in unprofitable enterprises.
  • To become fast; admit of being fastened or locked: as, the door will not lock.
  • To unite closely by mutual insertion of parts.
  • n. Anything that fastens something else; specifically, an appliance for securing in position a door, gate, window, drawer, lid, etc., when closed, by means of a key, or of some secret contrivance requiring manipulation by one to whom it is known; hence, any device that prevents movement.
  • n. A forelock; a cotter or key.
  • n. In firearms, a piece of mechanism which explodes the charge.
  • n. A form of brake or drag for the wheels of a vehicle, used to prevent them from turning in descending steep hills; a lock-chain or skid-chain.
  • n. The swerving to the right or left of the fore-carriage, deviating from the line of direction of the hind wheels and the trend of the carriages proper. It is called the haw or gee lock respectively, according as it is to the left or right of the driver.
  • n. In plastering, the projection of the plaster, cement, etc., behind the laths, which serves to prevent it from scaling off.
  • n. A place shut in or locked up; an inclosure; a lockup.
  • n. A barrier to confine the water of a stream or canal; an inclosure in a canal, with gates at each end, used in raising or lowering boats as they pass from one level to another.
  • n. A fastening together; a closing of one thing upon another; a state of being fixed or immovable; also, a grapple in wrestling; a hug.
  • n. See dead-lock.
  • n. A tuft of hair or wool; anything resembling such a tuft; a tress; used absolutely in the plural, hair collectively.
  • n. A tuft or small quantity, as of hay or some similar substance; a small quantity of anything; a handful; specifically, in Scots law, the perquisite of the servant in a mill, consisting of a quantity of meal, regulated by the custom of the mill.
  • n. A love-lock.
  • n. A receiver of stolen goods; also, the house in which such a ‘fence’ receives stolen goods.
  • n. A transposition or duplication of pages on the printed Sheet of a book.

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

  • v. become engaged or intermeshed with one another
  • v. build locks in order to facilitate the navigation of vessels
  • v. hold fast (in a certain state)
  • n. any wrestling hold in which some part of the opponent's body is twisted or pressured
  • v. hold in a locking position
  • v. become rigid or immoveable
  • v. keep engaged
  • n. 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
  • v. place in a place where something cannot be removed or someone cannot escape
  • v. fasten with a lock
  • n. a fastener fitted to a door or drawer to keep it firmly closed
  • n. a restraint incorporated into the ignition switch to prevent the use of a vehicle by persons who do not have the key
  • n. a strand or cluster of hair
  • v. pass by means through a lock in a waterway
  • n. a mechanism that detonates the charge of a gun


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

Middle English, from Old English loc, bolt, bar.
Middle English, from Old English locc.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English locc. Cognate with Old Norse lokkr (whence Danish lok), German Locke. It has been theorised that the word may be related to the Gothic verb 𐌻𐌿𐌺𐌰𐌽 (lukan, "to shut") in its ancient meaning to curb.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English lūcan



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  • Hey-day!

    May 7, 2011

  • Lock! An explanation of surprise; as, what! hey-day! --old provincial term and usage from Exmoor England. Grose's A Provincial Glossary, 1787.

    May 7, 2011

  • *searches for key*

    February 26, 2010

  • Lock Me Up

    This is a poem about terror.

    This is a poem about terrorists and terrorism and acts of terror and all the other keywords that press ASIO's buttons.

    This is a poem that the pot-bellied Customs officer will find in my notebook and it will cause him to strategically refrain from screwing up his nose while his heart races although when he shows it to his supervisor his eyebrows will writhe like naked caterpillars on Valentine's Day.

    This is a poem about violence.

    This is a poem about home-made bombs. I once tried strapping this poem to my chest. I exploded with sweat in a crowded coffee shop when the waiter asked if I liked orange Jews. I ordered apple.

    This is a poem about climate scandal.

    This is a poem about manipulation of manipulation of data.

    This is a poem that will never replace the planet we turn to a wasteland of oil company suits and dodgers.

    This is a poem about racism.

    This is not a poem by a white cunt about black cunts.

    This is about fascism. Fascism does not only exist in the dictators of lore: Mussolini, Stalin, Pol Pot. Fascism is security cameras in your email spying on what you downloaded to your hand-held conscience. Fascism is in poems. Cunt.

    This is a poem about jihad, brothers.

    This is a poem about struggle, brothers.

    Jihad, brothers, is like when you buy a fridge and attempt to get it up to your second-storey flat. Alone. In the rain. With a bad ankle.

    This poem says Allahu Akbar but it might have been a paid advertisement, brothers.

    This is a poem about fear.

    This poem is a way to demonstrate how our insecurities are being played against us. In the name of security.

    This poem if detected by a full-body scanner may resemble a Nigerian holding a bomb plot made of incompetence pointed at an AK-47 set to hysteria.

    These words are triggers and I'm shooting while I still can.

    This is a poem that will lock me up.

    This is the name of freedom. This is the name of democracy. This poem can and will be shackled like a dog and water-boarded.

    This poem is all I have left.

    February 26, 2010

  • O Fleece, foaming in the neck!

    O curls! O scent of laziness!

    Ecstasy! This evening, to people the dark corners

    Of memories that are sleeping in these locks,

    I would wave them in the air like a handkerchief!

    - Charles Baudelaire, 'The Head of Hair'.

    November 21, 2008