Definition of padlock in US English:



  • A detachable lock hanging by a pivoted hook on the object fastened.

    • ‘The offenders broke into the ground floor shop through a metal reinforced door - with five locks, a padlock and two steel bars - sometime before 6am on Tuesday.’
    • ‘Indeed, many ‘soft’ cases can be locked with a simple padlock but don't offer the kind of protection a hard-shell case or box can deliver.’
    • ‘The padlock on my garden shed was sawn open and the contents rummaged through though nothing was stolen due to a heavy main gate preventing this.’
    • ‘We padlock the box and send it to our colleague who then padlocks it with his padlock and returns it to us.’
    • ‘The room was small, with machinery set on one side, behind bullet proof containers which were locked with a padlock.’
    • ‘The briefcase is now locked with two padlocks so no one can get the present.’
    • ‘It was locked with a padlock, and padlocks are especially easy to pick.’
    • ‘One local senior police officer told an area board meeting that it is because we tend to leave our doors and windows open, or have cheap padlocks on garden sheds!’
    • ‘I unlock the padlock and slide back the bolt and go to push the door open.’
    • ‘This is basically a lock box with an unusual two-piece anti-pry construction that locks with a quality padlock.’
    • ‘The thieves entered the premises after removing the padlocks with bolt cutters and a substantial number of potted shrubs and herbaceous plants were removed in broad daylight.’
    • ‘Pin-tumbler locking mechanisms make padlocks harder to pick.’
    • ‘Smashing padlocks and deadbolts, the men checked for booby traps as they felt their way by flashlight from room to room.’
    • ‘Other smiths were more talented in making locks and padlocks that had fine springs of steel in them to operate the locking mechanism.’
    • ‘Secure septic tank lids with locking mechanisms such as a padlock, specialized bolts, or other devices to keep out children and animals.’
    • ‘Anyone can snap shut an open padlock - you don't need a key to lock it - but opening it again is really tough.’
    • ‘They used bolt croppers to break through padlocks and tried to put out of action the alarm that linked the store to the fire service.’
    • ‘Slam-shut locks provide a higher degree of protection than padlocks.’
    • ‘Front doors are often chained in triple loops and locked with massive padlocks.’
    • ‘Alex leaned up against the locker near hers and waited patiently for her to stick her coat in the locker and get the padlock on and locked.’
    fastening, catch, fastener
    View synonyms


[with object]usually as adjective padlocked
  • Secure with a padlock.

    ‘a padlocked door’
    • ‘Using the tall doors from one of the barns they had created a strong, padlocked gate across the stone bridge which spanned the width of the water.’
    • ‘I could never understand why for the past 70 or more years it has been closed to the public with a big gate which was padlocked.’
    • ‘The shutters on the upstairs windows were firmly padlocked.’
    • ‘He could not say whether the gate was padlocked, but it was secured.’
    • ‘He said they then climbed through his bedroom window to try to get the money because the front door was padlocked shut.’
    • ‘Members of council noted that media reports of the incident had frightened seniors who are now padlocking their doors.’
    • ‘She padlocked windows and doors and added extra wire mesh over the windows of the rooms housing her collection.’
    • ‘One of the doors was padlocked from the outside.’
    • ‘He padlocked the box, sealed the lock and chained the box to ensure that it would not be tampered with.’
    • ‘But he was accused of acting beyond his powers by padlocking the gates to land not owned by the football club.’
    • ‘He made national headlines in 1999 when he padlocked the gym and cancelled practices and games until his players improved their grades.’
    • ‘One gate is padlocked - but chained so carelessly a man could squeeze through the gap with ease.’
    • ‘A gate has been padlocked on an access road leading down to one beach to prevent vehicles getting too close; and various agencies have been put on alert.’
    • ‘They were unable to get their ambulance on to the ground because vehicle-access gates were padlocked.’
    • ‘The back door to the van was padlocked, but luckily he was in the front and could get out of the vehicle through the passenger door.’
    • ‘There is a fence dividing the space from the patio of a bar named Sandbar and the gate is padlocked closed.’
    • ‘Andy was padlocked behind a steel door when I arrived.’
    • ‘Many farmers are padlocking their tanks and many now have their dogs sleeping under their petrol tanks.’
    • ‘By padlocking the gate, he said, she was illegally blocking him from his land.’
    • ‘This was in stark contrast to Monday when school officials were forced to cancel classes after parents padlocked the gates.’
    lock, lock up, fasten, chain, bolt
    View synonyms


Late 15th century: from pad- (of unknown origin) + the noun lock.