air lock


: an intermediate chamber with two airtight doors or openings to permit passage between two dissimilar spaces (such as two places of unequal atmospheric pressure)
: a stoppage of flow caused by air being in a part where liquid ought to circulate

Examples of air lock in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Photos: Glen Benson/NASA Each side of the umbilical contains a set of doors that acts sort of like an air lock, to keep out the dust. IEEE Spectrum, 30 Oct. 2018 The node would be attached to that section and would allow additional visiting vehicles to dock to the station—and have an air lock that the astronauts would use to enter and exit for work outside the station. Will Sullivan, Smithsonian Magazine, 28 Mar. 2023 In September 1991, four women and four men in NASA-style jumpsuits entered the air lock of Biosphere 2. Jordan Fisher Smith, Discover Magazine, 20 Dec. 2010 Gabi had told me that stowaways must be sent out the air lock. Neima Jahromi, The New Yorker, 23 May 2022 Hidden in the corner behind a zip-up air lock was Padilla-Brown’s lab. Doug Bierend, Outside Online, 10 Mar. 2021 Then, in an air lock and still suited, each will take a 10-minute shower that sprays them from all sides with a chemical detergent. New York Times, 23 Nov. 2021 Pre-pandemic, Pfizer’s Pearl River research center didn’t have a biosafety level 3 lab required to grow Covid-19 — with an air lock and scientists clothed in hooded white suits, gloves, impervious gowns, and using an air-purifying respirator. Olivia Goldhill, STAT, 30 Aug. 2021 The air lock butyl bladder is added for air retention during regular play. Chris Hachey, BGR, 21 May 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'air lock.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1840, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of air lock was in 1840

Dictionary Entries Near air lock

Cite this Entry

“Air lock.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition

air lock

: an air space with two airtight doors that permits movement between two spaces with different pressures or different temperatures

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