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Synonyms for ratchet

mechanical device consisting of a toothed wheel or rack engaged with a pawl that permits it to move in only one direction

move by degrees in one direction only

References in periodicals archive ?
Alun Michael said they were "trying to ratchet up a clock whose springs are already broken".
Even as it vowed to ratchet up air attacks directly on the Serb forces conducting the repression in Kosovo, though, the Pentagon got a bone-rattling reminder of the perils of continued conflict in the Balkans.
As these organizations continue to ratchet up their enforcement efforts in an increasingly mature software market, Scott & Scott, which provides software license compliance and audit defense services, advises companies to implement the following procedures into their business practices:
Other examples which immediately spring to mind include to factor in, to source, ratchet up, bulk up, sun up, sex up and pretty up.
One form of pension legislation currently being proposed would meaningfully ratchet up Delphi's liabilities and required contributions.