gavel

1 [gav-uhl]
noun
1.
a small mallet used by the presiding officer of a meeting, a judge, etc., usually to signal for attention or order.
2.
a similar mallet used by an auctioneer to indicate acceptance of the final bid.
3.
Masonry. kevel.
verb (used with object)
4.
to chair (a legislative session, convention, meeting, etc.).
5.
a.
to request or maintain (order at a meeting) by striking a gavel.
b.
to begin or put into effect (a legislative session, motion, etc.) by striking a gavel.

Origin:
1795–1805, Americanism; origin uncertain

Dictionary.com Unabridged

gavel

2 [gav-uhl]
noun
feudal rent or tribute.

Origin:
before 900; Middle English govel, Old English gafol, akin to giefan to give; cf. gabelle

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
gavel (ˈɡævəl)
 
n
1.  a small hammer used by a chairman, auctioneer, etc, to call for order or attention
2.  a hammer used by masons to trim rough edges off stones
 
[C19: of unknown origin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

gavel
"small mallet used by presiding officers at meetings," 1805, Amer.Eng., of unknown origin; perhaps connected with Ger. dial. gaffel "brotherhood, friendly society," from M.H.G. gaffel "society, guild," related to O.E. gafol "tribute," giefan "to give" (see habit). But in some
sources gavel also is identified as a type of mason's tool, in which case the extended meaning may be via freemasonry.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The result is a display of art jewels that will be remembered long after the
  last bang of the gavel.
Snipes sat erect, grasping a gavel and looking magisterial in his robes.
Our jobs can simply disappear with the crisp signature of a board member or the
  ringing gavel of a state legislature.
Consensus was held not to require unanimity, and down came the gavel.
Synonyms
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