lock Definition

  • 1a mechanism for keeping a door, lid, etc., fastened, typically operated only by a key of a particular form.
  • 2a similar device used to prevent the operation or movement of a vehicle or other machine.
  • 3a short section of a canal or river with gates and sluices at each end, used for raising and lowering boats between two levels.

Using lock: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "lock" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    I forgot my keys and now I can't unlock the lock.

  • Example

    The bike was secured with a lock.

  • Example

    The boat entered the lock and was raised to the higher level.

  • Example

    The computer system has a lock on the file, preventing anyone from accessing it.

lock Synonyms and Antonyms

Synonyms for lock

Antonyms for lock

Phrases with lock

  • lock and key

    a method of securing something in which a lock is fastened with a key


    The diary was kept under lock and key.

  • to become involved in a dispute or argument


    The two politicians locked horns over the issue of tax reform.

  • lock, stock, and barrel

    completely; entirely


    They moved to a new city, taking everything they owned lock, stock, and barrel.

Origins of lock

from Old English 'loc', related to Dutch 'lok' and German 'Loch'


Summary: lock in Brief

A 'lock' [lɒk] is a device that keeps a door, lid, or machine fastened, usually requiring a specific key. It can also refer to a section of a canal or river with gates and sluices used for raising and lowering boats. Phrases like 'lock and key' and 'lock horns' are common, while 'lock, stock, and barrel' means completely.

How do native speakers use this expression?