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1. To physically lock or trap someone or something inside a particular place or thing. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "lock" and "in." The doorknob came right off in my hand, so I'm stuck outside while the kids are locked in the house!
2. To commit someone or something to a contract. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "lock" and "in." If you sign that contract, you'll be locked into your lease for two years. The pushy sales guy tried to lock me into a contract.
3. To secure particular terms for the length of a contract or other such agreement. Call the cable company and see if you can lock in a lower rate.
4. To be involved in a fight or struggle. If those two get locked in on politics, that's all we're going to hear all night long.
5. To focus on something. Oh, I locked in on that delicious cake the minute I stepped into the party!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
lock (someone or an animal) (up) in (something)and lock (someone or an animal) up
to fasten the opening to something so someone, a group, or an animal cannot get out. Take Chuck and lock him up in the cell. Lock up the killer and throw away the key!
lock something in
to make something, such as a rate of interest, permanent over a period of time. You should try to lock in a high percentage rate on your bonds. We locked in a very low rate on our mortgage.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. Enclose, surround, as in The ship was completely locked in ice. [c. 1400s]
2. Also, lock into. Fix firmly in position, commit to something. This phrase often occurs as be locked in or into , as in She felt she was locked in a binding agreement, or Many of the stockholders are locked into their present positions. [Mid-1900s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. To lock a door to a place leaving someone or something inside: My parents often locked me in my bedroom as punishment. We accidentally locked in the cat when we left.
2. To guarantee something for the duration of a contract: You can lock in this interest rate for the life of the loan. When interest rates fell, I locked them in at a lower rate.
3. To bind someone by contract: The contract locks us in for two years, during which time we cannot work for anyone else. Once you sign the agreement, you will be locked in for the next ten years.
4. To invest some money in such a way that it cannot easily be converted into cash. Used chiefly in the passive: The money is locked in until I turn 65.
5. To bind in close struggle or battle. Used chiefly in the passive: The wrestlers were locked in combat. The two sides were locked in a heated debate.
6. lock in on To focus on someone or something; target someone or something: The fighter pilot locked in on an enemy target and fired. The review locked in on the crude set design and failed to mention the great acting.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.