lock away(redirected from locks them away)
1. To lock something in a container or storage space. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "lock" and "away." It's very important that dangerous cleaning products are locked away when your children start crawling around the house. I locked our valuables away in a wall-mounted safe before we left for our vacation.
2. To incarcerate someone in some place, especially prison, indefinitely or for a very long time. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "lock" and "away." I hope they lock that crazy drunk driver away—he nearly killed me! In the old days, they'd lock you away for showing the symptoms of schizophrenia.
3. To isolate oneself from others; to shut oneself off from social contact. In this usage, a reflexive pronoun is used between "lock" and "away." I absolutely need to study before my big exam on Monday, so I'm going to lock myself away for the weekend.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
lock someone or something away
to put someone or something away in a locked container or space. You will have to lock all the medications away when the grandchildren come to visit. They locked away some cash for a rainy day. They locked it away.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. To put something in a locked space or container, especially for safekeeping: Fortunately, we had locked away most of our valuables before the burglary. I always lock my jewelry away in a safe.
2. To put someone in confinement, especially prison; incarcerate someone: After I threatened to jump off a building, they locked me away in the asylum. The secret police would lock away anyone who criticized the president.
3. To seclude oneself: I'm going to lock myself away and finish this book.
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.