1

ratchet

play
noun ratch·et \ˈra-chət\
variants: or less commonly

Definition of ratchet

  1. 1 :  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 (such as a wrench or screwdriver) to allow effective motion in one direction only

  2. 2 :  a pawl or detent for holding or propelling a toothed wheel

Origin and Etymology 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

Other Mechanical Engineering Terms


2

ratchet

verb ratch·et
variants: or less commonly

Definition of ratchet

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to cause to move by steps or degrees —usually used with up or down tried to ratchet down the debt

  3. intransitive verb
  4. :  to proceed by steps or degrees

First Known Use of ratchet

1972


RATCHET Defined for English Language Learners

ratchet

play
noun

Definition of ratchet for English Language Learners

  • : 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

ratchet

verb

Definition of ratchet for English Language Learners

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



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up ratchet? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

an incorrigible rascal

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • istock-refers-to-this-as-a-tumble-of-strawberries-which-sounded-pretty-nice-to-us
  • Which is a synonym of garner?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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