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Sprocket (def. 1) with chain
Cross-section of a mansard roof, with sprocket (def. 3)
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Alternative forms[edit]


Unknown. First attested in the 16th century.



sprocket (plural sprockets)

  1. (mechanical engineering) A toothed wheel that enmeshes with a chain or other perforated band.
  2. (usually in the plural) The tooth of such a wheel.
  3. (architecture) A flared extension at the base of a sloped roof.
  4. A placeholder name for an unnamed, unspecified, or hypothetical manufactured good or product.
    Synonym: widget
    Suppose we have a widget factory that produces 100 widgets per year, and a sprocket factory that produces 200 sprockets per year.

Usage notes[edit]

Although sprockets are sometimes referred to as gears, there is a technical distinction between the two: sprockets interact with chains, whereas gears interact with other gears.

Derived terms[edit]


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See also[edit]