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From Middle English gavelock, from Old English gafeluc (spear, javelin), from gafel (fork) + -uc (diminutive suffix)> Compare Old Norse gaflak, Icelandic gaflok, Middle High German, Old French gavelot, glavelot, French javelot, Irish gabhla (spear), Welsh gaflach (fork, dart), English glave, gaff.


gavelock (plural gavelocks)

  1. (rare, obsolete) A spear or dart.
  2. (Britain, Scotland, dialectal) An iron crow or lever.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for gavelock in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)