pawl n : a hinged catch that fits into a notch of a ratchet to move a wheel forward or prevent it from moving backward [syn: detent, click, dog]
EtymologyPerhaps from Low German or Dutch pal.
- Rhymes: -ɔːl
- A pivoted catch designed to fall into a notch on a ratchet
wheel so as to allow movement in only one direction (e.g. on a
windlass or in a clock mechanism), or alternatively to move the
wheel in one direction.
- 1994: The nails in the rim of the wheel went ratcheting over the leather pawl and the wheel slowed and came to a stop and the woman turned to the crowd and smiled. — Cormac McCarthy, The Crossing
- To stop with a pawl.