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2 definitions found
 for Ratchet Wheel
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Ratchet \Ratch"et\ (-[e^]t), n. [Properly a diminutive from the
     same word as rack: cf. F. rochet. See 2d Ratch, Rack the
     instrument.]
     1. A pawl, click, or detent, for holding or propelling a
        ratchet wheel, or ratch, etc.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     2. A mechanism composed of a ratchet wheel, or ratch, and
        pawl. See Ratchet wheel, below, and 2d Ratch.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     Ratchet brace (Mech.), a boring brace, having a ratchet
        wheel and pawl for rotating the tool by back and forth
        movements of the brace handle.
  
     Ratchet drill, a portable machine for working a drill by
        hand, consisting of a hand lever carrying at one end a
        drill holder which is revolved by means of a ratchet wheel
        and pawl, by swinging the lever back and forth.
  
     Ratchet wheel (Mach.), a circular wheel having teeth,
        usually angular, with which a reciprocating pawl engages
        to turn the wheel forward, or a stationary pawl to hold it
        from turning backward.
        [1913 Webster]
        [1913 Webster]
  
     Note: In the cut, the moving pawl c slides over the teeth in
           one direction, but in returning, draws the wheel with
           it, while the pawl d prevents it from turning in the
           contrary direction.
           [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  ratchet wheel
      n 1: toothed wheel held in place by a pawl or detent and turned
           by a lever

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