noun \ˈra-chət\

: a device made up of a wheel or bar with many teeth along its edge in between which a piece fits so that the wheel or bar can move only in one direction

Full Definition of RATCHET

:  a mechanism that consists of a bar or wheel having inclined teeth into which a pawl drops so that motion can be imparted to the wheel or bar, governed, or prevented and that is used in a hand tool (as a wrench or screwdriver) to allow effective motion in one direction only
:  a pawl or detent for holding or propelling a toothed wheel

Variants of RATCHET

ratch·et also rach·et \ˈra-chət\

Origin of RATCHET

alteration of earlier rochet, from French, alteration of Middle French rocquet ratchet, bobbin, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German rocko distaff — more at rock
First Known Use: 1654

Other Mechanical Engineering Terms

centrifuge, differential, flange, lathe, linchpin, pinion, plenum, traction

Rhymes with RATCHET



: to increase or decrease (something) especially by a series of small steps or amounts

Full Definition of RATCHET

transitive verb
:  to cause to move by steps or degrees —usually used with up or down <tried to ratchet down the debt>
intransitive verb
:  to proceed by steps or degrees

Variants of RATCHET

ratchet also rachet

First Known Use of RATCHET



noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Mechanical device that transmits intermittent motion or permits a shaft to rotate in one direction but not in the opposite one. Reversible ratchets are used on socket wrench handles and are convenient for tightening or loosening bolts in positions where a complete revolution of a wrench handle is impossible. They are used in mechanical jacks to lock the jack rod after each successive lift.


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