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lock definition


This page has 33 definitions of lock in English, German, and Swedish. Lock is a noun and verb. Examples of how to use lock in a sentence are shown. Also define these 0 related words and terms: .

See also: Lock, Löck, and -lock

English lock definition


Etymology 1

A key lock (device requiring a key or a combination to be opened).
A lock (canal segment).

From Middle English lok, from Old English loc, from Proto-West Germanic *lok, from Proto-Germanic *luką from Proto-Indo-European *lewg- (to bend; turn). The verb is from Middle English locken, lokken, louken, from Old English lūcan, Proto-West Germanic *lūkan, from Proto-Germanic *lūkaną. Doublet of luxe.


lock (plural locks)

  1. Something used for fastening, which can only be opened with a key or combination.
  2. (computing, by extension) A mutex or other token restricting access to a resource.
    • 2005, Karl Kopper, The Linux Enterprise Cluster:
      [] the application must first acquire a lock on a file or a portion of a file before reading data and modifying it.
  3. A segment of a canal or other waterway enclosed by gates, used for raising and lowering boats between levels.
    • 1846, William Makepeace Thackeray, Notes of a Journey from Cornhill to Grand Cairo
      Here the canal came to a check, ending abruptly with a large lock.
  4. (firearms) The firing mechanism.
  5. Complete control over a situation.
    • 2003, Charley Rosen, The Wizard of Odds
      Even though he had not yet done so, Jack felt he had a lock on the game.
  6. Something sure to be a success.
    • 2004, Avery Corman, A perfect divorce
      Brian thinks she's a lock to get a scholarship somewhere.
  7. (rugby) A player in the scrum behind the front row, usually the tallest members of the team.
    • 2011 September 24, Ben Dirs, “Rugby World Cup 2011: England 67-3 Romania”, in BBC Sport:
      Ashton only had to wait three minutes for his second try, lock Louis Deacon setting it up with a rollocking line-break, before Romania got on the scoreboard courtesy of a penalty from fly-half Marin Danut Dumbrava.
  8. A fastening together or interlacing; a closing of one thing upon another; a state of being fixed or immovable.
    • 1834, Thomas de Quincey, Samuel Taylor Coleridge (first published in Tait's Edinburgh Magazine)
      Albemarle Street closed by a lock of carriages
  9. A place impossible to get out of, as by a lock.
    • 1697, Virgil, “The Fifth Book of the Æneis”, in John Dryden, transl., The Works of Virgil: Containing His Pastorals, Georgics, and Æneis. [], London: [] Jacob Tonson, [], OCLC 403869432:
      Sergestus, eager with his beak to press
      Betwixt the rival galley and the rock,
      Shuts up the unwieldy Centaur in the lock
  10. A device for keeping a wheel from turning.
  11. A grapple in wrestling.
Derived terms
Derived terms of lock (noun) without hyponyms


lock (third-person singular simple present locks, present participle locking, simple past locked, past participle locked or (obsolete) locken)

  1. (intransitive) To become fastened in place.
    If you put the brakes on too hard, the wheels will lock.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 13, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      We tiptoed into the house, up the stairs and along the hall into the room where the Professor had been spending so much of his time. 'Twas locked, of course, but the Deacon man got a big bunch of keys out of his pocket and commenced to putter with the lock.
  2. (transitive) To fasten with a lock.
    Remember to lock the door when you leave.
  3. (intransitive) To be capable of becoming fastened in place.
    This door locks with a key.
  4. (transitive) To intertwine or dovetail.
    with his hands locked behind his back
    We locked arms and stepped out into the night.
  5. (intransitive, break dancing) To freeze one's body or a part thereof in place.
    a pop and lock routine
  6. To furnish (a canal) with locks.
  7. To raise or lower (a boat) in a lock.
  8. To seize (e.g. the sword arm of an antagonist) by turning one's left arm around it, to disarm them.
  9. (Internet, transitive) To modify (a thread) so that users cannot make new posts in it.
  10. (Internet, transitive, Wikimedia jargon) To prevent a page from being edited by other users.
    Frequently-vandalized pages are generally locked to prevent further damage.
  11. (intransitive, rugby) To play in the position of lock.
    • 1980, Ken Berry, chapter 14, in First Offender, Auckland: Collins, page 117:
      Please don't disappoint me - you are female, aren't you? I have a lingering suspicion that you are 17 stone and lock for Tarankai.
  • (to fasten with a lock; to be capable of becoming fastened in place): unlock
Derived terms

Etymology 2

From Middle English lok, lokke, from Old English locc (hair of the head, hair, lock of hair, curl, ringlet), from Proto-West Germanic *lokk, from Proto-Germanic *lukkaz, from Proto-Indo-European *lugnó-, from Proto-Indo-European *lewg- (to bend).

Cognate with West Frisian lok, lokke, Dutch lok (earlock, curl), German Locke (lock of hair, curl), Danish lok, Swedish lock (lock of hair, curl). It has been theorised that the word may be related to the Gothic verb *𐌻𐌿𐌺𐌰𐌽 (*lukan, to shut) in its ancient meaning "to curb".


lock (plural locks)

  1. A tuft or length of hair, wool, etc.
  2. A small quantity of straw etc.
  3. (Scotland, law, historical) A quantity of meal, the perquisite of a mill-servant.
Derived terms


German lock definition




  1. singular imperative of locken
  2. (colloquial) first-person singular present of locken

Swedish lock definition

log cabin (bottom floor) with board panel (top floor) with thinner, protruding "cover" boards (lock 4), giving the upper wall a striped appearance.


From Old Norse lok, lokkr, from Proto-Germanic *lukkaz.



lock c or n

  1. (chiefly in the plural) a lock of hair
  2. a cover, a lid
  3. popping (as when ears pop)[1]
    lock för örat.
    Be deafened.
  4. a (thin) board that covers the gap between panel boards
  5. call, lure (uninflected, from the verb locka)
    med lock och pock


Declension of lock 1
Singular Plural
Indefinite Definite Indefinite Definite
Nominative lock locken lockar lockarna
Genitive locks lockens lockars lockarnas
Declension of lock 
Singular Plural
Indefinite Definite Indefinite Definite
Nominative lock locket lock locken
Genitive locks lockets locks lockens

Derived terms

  • Få lock för örat: be deafened. When you have bad hearing from the change in air pressure due to an air plane flight. So it’s sort of like having a casserole cover in your ear [2]

Related terms

  • grytlock
  • hårlock