lock 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

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
References in periodicals archive ?
The shampoo and conditioner act like a primer, which enable the shine molecules in the gloss treatment to lock onto the hair for a full 48 hours.
The technology aims to allow the Android-powered device's camera to focus in dim light conditions and lock onto moving objects fast.
99 SHOOTER fans will know that feeling of intense control and power that comes over you when you lock onto a target with a sniper rifle, from some hidden high point or super stealthy spot in the undergrowth.
The helicopter uses its targeting system to lock onto and track the target's position and velocity, and transfers the information to the rocket launcher prior to weapon release.
SELF-ADJUSTING LOCKING PLIERS automatically lock onto objects of different thicknesses at a preset pressure without any use adjustment.
Rear section with complete interrupted thread assembly for buffer to lock onto and center section with grip mounting holes intact and ejector plate in place.
Users look through the viewfinder at the liquid metal (in the furnace or during pouring), pull the trigger and the Meltmaster uses advanced, noise-rejection processing to lock onto the real temperature.
A pre-wired contact insert that can snap lock onto the DUPLICON housing.
Adapter plates on the molding machine lock onto locating rings on the mold.
Scientific research suggests that antioxidants from grapes and some other foods lock onto bad cholesterol in the blood and stop the fatty gunk from clumping inside veins and arteries.
The company says Face Tracker uses a radically new approach to identify and lock onto human faces in a cameraphone preview image, tracking them as they move around within the frame and automatically adjusting focus, exposure, and white balance before the image is captured, ensuring faces are optimally taken and skin tones are reproduced with exceptional accuracy.
Tony Blair's tight lock onto the United States before the Iraq War enabled him to pressure Washington into seeking U.
AutoTrack allows cameras to monitor an area with a preset tour, but once motion is detected the camera will automatically lock onto the subject, zoom in for a better view, and follow the subject within the camera's coverage area.
Pilots quickly locate, track, identify, and lock onto airborne and ground-based targets at longer ranges and safer altitudes--all by simply looking at a target, said Staff Sgt.
Replacing the flange and bolt that serve as the basis of all connectors currently in use is a retaining ring and positional locking cap on one tube that lock onto the cavity housing on the other tube.