What do a.m. and p.m. stand for?


[pawl] /pɔl/
a pivoted bar adapted to engage with the teeth of a ratchet wheel or the like so as to prevent movement or to impart motion.
verb (used with object)
to check or hold with a pawl.
Origin of pawl
1620-30; < Dutch pal ratchet Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for pawl
  • The pawl is a safety device which, when engaged, allows the basket to be raised but not lowered.
  • Incorrect steel was used on the latch connector locking pawl.
  • As a result, the pawl can crack allowing the seat base to detach from the vehicle's latch anchors during a severe crash.
  • When engaged, the pawl is elf-locking due to its pivot location.
British Dictionary definitions for pawl


a pivoted lever shaped to engage with a ratchet wheel to prevent motion in a particular direction
Word Origin
C17: perhaps from Dutch pal pawl
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for pawl

"bar preventing a capstan from recoiling" (nautical) 1620s, of unknown origin; perhaps from French pal "stake" [OED] or épaule "shoulder" [Klein].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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