- 1[countable] a device that keeps a door, window, lid, etc. shut, usually needing a key to open it She turned the key in the lock. It's a good idea to have locks fitted on all your windows. see also combination lock
- 2[countable] a device with a key that prevents a vehicle or machine from being used a bicycle lock a steering lock
- 3 [uncountable] a state in which the parts of a machine, etc. do not move
- 4[countable] a section of canal or river with a gate at either end, in which the water level can be changed so that boats can move from one level of the canal or river to another
- 5[countable] a few hairs that hang or lie together on your head John brushed a lock of hair from his eyes. She kept a lock of her mother's hair.
- 6 locks [plural] (literary) a person's hair She shook her long, flowing locks.
- 7 [singular] a lock (on something) total control of something One company had a virtual lock on all orange juice sales in the state. see also armlock, headlock Idioms
including everything He sold the business lock, stock, and barrel.
lock, stock, and barreljump to other results
to open a lock without a key, using something such as a piece of wire The burglars must have picked the lock on the back door.
pick a lockjump to other results
locked up safely somewhere; in prison We keep our valuables under lock and key. I will not rest until the murderer is under lock and key.
(keep something/put something/be) under lock and keyjump to other results