One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A segmented band or sleeve put around a shaft or spindle and tightened so as to grip it.
- ‘It features a releasing collet that prevents the bit from seizing and comes with both 1/4-and 1/2-inch collets. [The related Porter Cable 693 PK with plunge base kit is also popular. - Ed.]’
- ‘The shaft of the cutting tool fits into a collet, which in turn fits into the chuck sleeve.’
- ‘The classic Porter-Cable 690 router is distinguished by auto-releasing collets, micrometer depth-of-cut adjustment, and D-handled bases.’
- ‘The main advantages of the sliding headstock portion of the machine are that it can load the part into the collet with extreme precision, turn the part very precisely and handle heavy metal removal.’
- ‘The collet closer is shaped and sized to, on tightening of the collet closet, radially compress the collet to grip the sheath.’
- 1.1 A small collar in a clock to which the inner end of a balance spring is attached.
2A flange or socket for setting a gem in jewelry.
- ‘In wearing the ring, he noticed that when he turned the collet or face of the ring in toward his palm, he became invisible.’
- ‘Six diamonds in collet settings serve as the ‘prongs’ to hold the hessonite garnet in place.’
- ‘The necklace in Plate IX, based on the hopvine, is set with thirty different colored gemstones, each mounted in a collet setting with two leaves and three conelike blossoms.’
Late Middle English (denoting a piece of armor to protect the neck): from Old French, diminutive of col ‘neck’, from Latin collum.
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