Pawl n. Mach. A pivoted tongue, or sliding bolt, on one part of a machine, adapted to fall into notches, or interdental spaces, on another part, as a ratchet wheel, in such a manner as to permit motion in one direction and prevent it in the reverse, as in a windlass; a catch, click, or detent. See Illust. of Ratchet Wheel. [Written also paul, or pall.]
Pawl bitt Naut., a heavy timber, set abaft the windlass, to receive the strain of the pawls.
Pawl rim or Pawl ring Naut., a stationary metallic ring surrounding the base of a capstan, having notches for the pawls to catch in.
Pawl, v. t. To stop with a pawl; to drop the pawls off.
To pawl the capstan. See under Capstan.
n : a hinged catch that fits into a notch of a ratchet to move a
wheel forward or prevent it from moving backward [syn: detent,