\ ˈläk-ˌin How to pronounce lock-in (audio) \
plural lock-ins

Definition of lock-in

1 : a demonstration in which protestors lock themselves inside a building, factory, etc. When those demands weren't met, students took over several school buildings and began a lock-in on March 11.— P. R. Lockhart
2 : a usually supervised social event for young people confined to a space (such as a library or church) often overnight Each year, students are enticed to participate in a post-prom lock-in with the promise of games, prizes, food and fun.— Jasmine Dent Franks Christian youth lock-ins aren't unusual in religious Texas, though they usually happen in churches. Every so often, a church group will leave a house of worship and rent out a mall or skating rink after normal operating hours.— Steve Jansen

First Known Use of lock-in

1920, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Learn More About lock-in

Time Traveler for lock-in

Time Traveler

The first known use of lock-in was in 1920

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near lock-in



locking plate

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for lock-in

Cite this Entry

“Lock-in.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lock-in. Accessed 5 Dec. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!