: a pivoted tongue or sliding bolt on one part of a machine that is adapted to fall into notches or interdental spaces on another part so as to permit motion in only one direction

Examples of pawl in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The front door latch pawl spring tab design is susceptible to cracking and failure over time, Ford said in a safety report filed with NHTSA. Mike Snider, USA TODAY, 31 July 2023 The ratcheting pawls inside let the wrench spin in one direction and turn the bolt in the other. Sarah Halverson, Better Homes & Gardens, 22 June 2023 In addition, its bi-directional pawl winding system builds up a power reserve of 46 hours in the mainspring. Cait Bazemore, Robb Report, 3 May 2023 The pawl stops the trucks from moving. CBS News, 15 Sep. 2022 Ross’s classic click-and-pawl reel got better. Greg Thomas, Outside Online, 10 May 2021 The transmission parking pawl, which prevents vehicles from moving, may not engage when the vehicle is shifted into park, which can result in a vehicle rollaway, NHTSA reported. Natalie Neysa Alund, USA TODAY, 19 Sep. 2022 However, others were more obvious (and exciting), like the upgrade to an in-house movement that uses a bidirectional pawl winding system to build up the power reserve to 120 hours. Cait Bazemore, Robb Report, 13 Oct. 2022 The trucks could roll away because the transmission parking pawl, which prevents the vehicles from moving, may not engage when the trucks are in park, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said. Alexandra Meeks, CNN, 19 Sep. 2022 See More

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

Word History


perhaps modification of Dutch pal pawl

First Known Use

1730, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pawl was in 1730

Dictionary Entries Near pawl

Cite this Entry

“Pawl.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a tongue or sliding bolt on a machine part that is made to fall into notches on another part so as to permit motion in only one direction
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