American English

Definition of lock verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they lock
    he / she / it locks
    past simple locked
    -ing form locking
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  1. 1[transitive, intransitive] lock (something) to fasten something with a lock; to be fastened with a lock Did you lock the door? The gates are locked at 6 o'clock. This suitcase doesn't lock.
  2. 2[transitive] lock something + adv./prep. to put something in a safe place and lock it She locked her passport and money in the safe.
  3. 3[intransitive, transitive] lock (something) (in/into/around, etc. something) lock (something) (together) to become or make something become fixed in one position and unable to move The brakes locked and the car skidded. He locked his helmet into position with a click.
  4. 4[transitive] be locked in/into something to be involved in a difficult situation, an argument, a disagreement, etc. The two sides are locked into a bitter dispute. She felt locked in a loveless marriage.
  5. 5[transitive] be locked together/in something to be held very tightly by someone They were locked in a passionate embrace.
  6. 6[transitive] lock something (computing) to prevent computer data from being changed or looked at by someone without permission These files are locked to protect confidentiality.
  7. Idioms
    lock horns (with somebody) (over something)
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    to get involved in an argument or a disagreement with someone The company has locked horns with the unions over proposed pay cuts.
    Phrasal Verbslock somebody/something awaylock somebody/yourself in (…)lock onto somethinglock somebody/yourself out (of something)lock somebody outlock uplock somebodyup/awaylock somethingup/away
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: lock