A hinged or pivoted device adapted to fit into a notch of a ratchet wheel to impart forward motion or prevent backward motion.(noun)
American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Use "pawl" in a sentence
"His mechanic had removed a pawl or two in an effort to decrease freehub drag, but the results were disastrous."
"Some of the reels that come on these combos have poor drags; some are simple pawl drags or offset disc drags."
"The chances of the pawl wearing excessively or shearing off are slim, but the parking brake still helps you avoid the threat of a car rolling away."