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 ?
Benefit payments out of Delphi's pension plans have ratcheted up significantly from $375 million in 2003 to a projection of approximately $556 million in 2005 and $900 million in 2009.