from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A device, usually a U-shaped or circular metal hoop on a swivel in the gunwale, used to hold an oar in place and as a fulcrum in rowing.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A rowlock.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Naut.) The notch, fork, or other device on the gunwale of a boat, in which the oar rests, and that holds the oar in place and acts as a fulcrum for rowing. Certain oarlocks are designed for use with oars having attached swivels, which insert into the oarlock and provide a firm pivot. Same as rowlock{1}.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A device attached to the gunwale of a rowboat to hold the oars in place while rowing.

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

  • noun a holder attached to the gunwale of a boat that holds the oar in place and acts as a fulcrum for rowing


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • I put my oars in the oarlocks and closed the oarlock gates to hold them in place, taking my time and tightening the nut securely.

    Rowing the ATLANTIC

  • All sailed Venetian craft had oarlock; ALL boat craft had oar locks, so this doesn't mean its not a sailed boat.

    Giudecca at the End of the 19th Century

  • Just a glimpse of water through the oarlock was enough to warn him where to dip the oar to avoid waves and eddies.

    Burning Tower

  • An open firebox lit the fishing boat's simple lines: the low gunwales, single oarlock, seining pole at the stern.

    December 6

  • The brush of the next passing serpent snatched the oar from Jek's grip and tore the oarlock loose.

    Ship Of Destiny

  • One started to slip through the oarlock into the water.

    The Mad Ship

  • Reise ran alongside and managed to roll over the gunwale without snagging himself on the oarlock; he even kept hold of the oars, for a wonder.

    Lord of the Isles

  • I scrambled to get the oar back in its oarlock and both of them in the water before we hit the bridge, banging my knuckles together again in the process, and bringing us up against the bank.

    To Say Nothing of the Dog

  • Bink tried to put the end of one oar against the ship, to push, but it didn't work because he could not maneuver the oar free of its oarlock.

    A Spell For Chameleon

  • Only Juma imitated Conan's act, breaking his oar at the oarlock and slipping his slave ring loose.



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