ratchet

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ratchet

1. a device in which a toothed rack or wheel is engaged by a pawl to permit motion in one direction only
2. the toothed rack or wheel forming part of such a device

ratchet

[′rach·ət]
(design engineering)
A wheel, usually toothed, operating with a catch or a pawl so as to rotate in only a single direction.
References in periodicals archive ?
Unfortunately, the government ratchets down what I am allowed to collect for my services, but neglects to ratchet down my expenses as well
The protein, called interleukin-10, ratchets down the inflammatory reaction, says study coauthor Stephen J.
In fact, many of the studies contained distinct undertones of hostility, quite possibly due to the tension generalists and specialists feel as the health care market increasingly ratchets down their reimbursement.