ratchet

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ratchet

a steplocking device on surgical instruments. As the handles are closed the jaws are also closed and the ratchet holds them in a locked position. The ratchet consists of a notched bar on each handle, the notches facing and overriding when the handles are closed.
References in periodicals archive ?
By the time a new equilibrium is reached and providers have cut costs to the bone, payers will have ratcheted down payouts to narrow or invert margins.
Most of the single-employer plans have faced some full-funding limitation off and on for the last 10 years, because the maximums have been ratcheted down so dramatically on many of our plans.
He says projects that were prohibitive when interest rates were high became possible as they ratcheted down.
Fitch expects that over the intermediate term, health care liabilities will continue to be ratcheted down, through contract negotiations or through a more contentious route.
But since Ma took power last year, relations across the Taiwan Strait have warmed, as Ma has ratcheted down Taipei's pro-sovereignty rhetoric while forging new economic and logistical links with Beijing.
It also ratcheted down the rating on Gannett commercial paper -- unsecured obligations issued for short-term cash needs -- to Prime-3 from Prime-2.
Expenses as proportion of assets was ratcheted down to 0.
The theme is much the same as before -- Gypsies have got it right, non-Gypsies need to chill out -- and there's still plenty of music on hand to ease viewing; but in "Swing," everything is ratcheted down several notches.
We were lucky this thing suddenly ratcheted down before it hit town.