1. 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.

2. A fastening together or interlacing; a closing of one thing upon another; a state of being fixed or immovable. "Albemarle Street closed by a lock of carriages." (De Quincey)

3. A place from which egress is prevented, as by a lock.

4. The barrier or works which confine the water of a stream or canal.

5. 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.

6. That part or apparatus of a firearm by which the charge is exploded; as, a matchlock, flintlock, percussion lock, etc.

7. A device for keeping a wheel from turning.

8. A grapple in wrestling. Detector lock, a lock containing a contrivance for showing whether it as has been tampered with. Lock bay, a range of bond stone. Mortise lock, a door lock inserted in a mortise. Rim lock, a lock fastened to the face of a door, thus differing from a mortise lock.

Origin: AS. Loc inclosure, an inclosed place, the fastening of a door, fr. Lucan to lock, fasten; akin to OS. Lukan (in comp), D. Luiken, OHG. Luhhan, Icel. Lka, Goth. Lukan (in comp); cf. Skr. Ruj to break. Cf. Locket.

(01 Mar 1998)

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