lock out


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

lock out

1. Keep out, prevent from entering. For example, Karen was so angry at her brother that she locked him out of the house. [Late 1500s] Shakespeare had it in The Comedy of Errors (4:1): "For locking me out of my doors by day."
2. Withhold work from employees during a labor dispute, as in The company threatened to lock out the strikers permanently. [Mid-1800s]
See also: lock, out

lock out

v.
1. To prevent someone or something from entering a place by locking a door or entrance: The committee locked out the protesters from the meeting hall. I left the keys in the car and accidentally locked myself out.
2. To withhold work from some employees during a labor dispute: The company bosses locked the auto workers out. The management will lock out the pilots' union until an agreement is reached.
3. To exclude someone from something, as a competition. Used chiefly in the passive: Professional athletes were locked out of the competition.
See also: lock, out