ratchet and pawl(redirected from Ratchet (device))
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ratchet and pawl,mechanical device that permits motion in one direction only. The ratchet is usually a wheel with slanting teeth. The pawl is a lever tangential to the wheel with one end resting on the teeth. When the wheel rotates one way, the pawl slides over the teeth; when the wheel rotates the other way, the pawl catches in the teeth.
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