lock Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “lock” in the English Dictionary

"lock" in British English

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locknoun

uk   /lɒk/  us   /lɑːk/
  • lock noun (FASTENER)

B1 [C] a ​device that ​prevents something such as a ​door from being ​opened and can only be ​opened with a ​key: I ​heard someone ​turn a ​key in the lock. safety locks Thieves got in by ​smashing the lock off the ​door.
See also

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

  • lock noun (WHEELS)

[U] UK the ​amount a ​road vehicle's ​frontwheels can be ​turned from one ​side to the other by ​turningitssteeringwheel: You need it on ​full lock (= with the ​wheelturned as much as ​possible).
  • lock noun (HOLD)

[C] a way of ​holding someone that you are ​fighting against so that they cannot ​move: The ​smallerwrestlerheld his ​opponent in a ​fullbody lock.

lockverb

uk   /lɒk/  us   /lɑːk/
  • lock verb (MAKE SAFE)

B2 [T usually + adv/prep] to put something in a ​safeplace and ​fasten the lock: He locked the ​confidentialdocuments in his ​filingcabinet. You really should lock ​yourcar (up) or it'll get ​stolen.B1 [I or T] to ​fasten something with a ​key, or be ​fastened with a ​key: Don't ​forget to lock the ​door when you go out. If you ​shut the ​door it will lock ​automatically.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

(Definition of lock from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"lock" in American English

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locknoun [C]

 us   /lɑk/
  • lock noun [C] (DEVICE TO FASTEN)

a ​device that ​keeps something, such as a ​door or ​drawer, ​fastened, usually ​needing a ​key to ​open it
  • lock noun [C] (WATER)

a ​length of ​water with ​gates at either end where the ​level of ​water can be ​changed to ​allowboats to move between ​parts of a ​canal or ​river that are at different ​heights
  • lock noun [C] (HAIR)

a ​curl of ​hair, or a ​group of ​hairs

lockverb [I/T]

 us   /lɑk/
  • lock verb [I/T] (NOT ALLOW CHANGE)

to be or ​hold something in a ​position or ​condition where ​movement, ​escape, or ​change is not ​possible: [T] They’re locked in a ​lawsuit with ​theirformeremployer. [I] The ​carscrashed and the ​bumpers locked, making it ​impossible to move. [M] The ​bank won’t lock in ​ourmortgagerate.
  • lock verb [I/T] (FASTEN)

If you lock something ​somewhere, you make it ​safe by putting it in a ​specialplace and ​fastening it ​closed with a lock: [T] He locked the ​documents in his ​filingcabinet.
(Definition of lock from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"lock" in Business English

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lockverb

uk   us   /lɒk/
lock horns (with sb) to become involved in a disagreement or argument with someone: My first ​test as a ​manager early in my ​career was locking horns with a ​unionrepresentative at a ​printfactory.lock horns (with sb) over sth The White ​House and ​Congress locked horns over how to ​cut the ​budgetdeficit.
(Definition of lock from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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