Definition of pawl
: 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
Recent Examples of pawl from the Web
Ratcheting screwdrivers contain a gear-and-pawl mechanism that isolates the handle from the stem, allowing you to turn the screw many times without having to reposition your hand.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pawl'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of pawl
perhaps modification of Dutch pal pawl
First Known Use: 1730See Words from the same year
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