lock onto

(redirected from lock on to attach or fix onto)

lock onto (someone or something)

1. To use an electronic tracking system to fix onto a particular person or thing. Once the satellite locks onto the rocket's signal, we should be able to triangulate its precise location. With proton beam therapy, we lock onto the cancerous cells and deliver radiation only to the affected tissue.
2. To fix the electronic tracking system onto a particular person or thing. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "lock" and "into." The fighter pilot locked his missiles onto the enemy jet. We should be able to lock our homing system onto Jeff's tracking unit.
3. To focus one's gaze or attention completely on someone or something. She locked onto the handsome guy across the bar, making her way over to talk to him. Once she locks onto a new project, there's no getting in his way.
See also: lock
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

lock something onto someone or something

 and lock something on
to attach or fix something onto someone or something. The cop locked the handcuffs onto the mugger and led him away. Andy locked his bicycle onto the signpost. See that bike rack? Lock your bike on and keep an eye on it.
See also: lock
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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