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pawl Syllabification: pawl

Definition of pawl in English:


1A pivoted curved bar or lever whose free end engages with the teeth of a cogwheel or ratchet so that the wheel or ratchet can only turn or move one way.
Example sentences
  • The drive mechanism may comprise a ratchet and pawl.
  • He calls it the pawl, a proper engineering term to go with ratchet.
  • Watch out, because pawls and pawl springs can come flying out.
1.1Each of a set of short stout bars that engage with the whelps and prevent a capstan, windlass, or winch from recoiling.
Example sentences
  • The capstan for raising the anchor was something I hadn't seen before - like a huge rolling pin set across the ship, with wooden pawls to prevent backwards rotation.
  • In the tang of a gathering sea breeze, listening to the click of pawls as winches spun, all the Machiavellian intrigue faded.


Early 17th century: perhaps from Low German and Dutch pal (related to pal 'fixed').

Words that rhyme with pawl

all, appal (US appall), awl, Bacall, ball, bawl, befall, Bengal, brawl, call, caul, crawl, Donegal, drawl, drywall, enthral (US enthrall), fall, forestall, gall, Galle, Gaul, hall, haul, maul, miaul, miscall, Montreal, Naipaul, Nepal, orle, pall, Paul, Saul, schorl, scrawl, seawall, Senegal, shawl, small, sprawl, squall, stall, stonewall, tall, thrall, trawl, wall, waul, wherewithal, withal, yawl
Definition of pawl in:
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