ratchet

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Related to ratcheting up: ratchet wheel

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 ?
For more on the challenge of ratcheting up performance, see his report for the IBM Center for the Business of Government: Performance Leadership: II Better Practices That Can Ratchet Up Performance.
In his New Year message Mr Kennedy said: ``Labour is counting on the politics of fear, ratcheting up talk of threats, crime and insecurity, while the Conservatives are re-working populist scares about asylum and the European `menace'.
Ratcheting up the stakes in the United Parcel Service strike, John Sweeney, the AFL-CIO's president, announced Tuesday that the nation's labor unions would lend the International Brotherhood of Teamsters $10 million a week for ``many, many weeks'' to sustain members during the strike.