2

Does it mean Prevent? https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/lock-in_1?q=lock+in+

“The biggest lesson we learned from the global financial crisis was to not abandon stocks because that’s how we lock in losses,” Hooper said. “Maintain disciplined, long-term asset allocations.”

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/25/trade-tensions-are-a-bigger-risk-to-stocks-than-coronavirus-invesco.html

3

In the example sentence used in the definition referenced, lock in means prevent the opposite of something.

For instance, when you lock somebody in a room, you don't prevent them from being in the room, you instead prevent them from leaving the room.

As such, you can't simply replace lock in with prevent in the example sentence in the question—that would have the opposite effect.

If you want to just replace lock in with something, you actually need to use an antonym of prevent:

That's how we ensure losses.

Or, if you want to use prevent, you need to rephrase the sentence to use the opposite noun:

That's how we prevent gains.


The actual passage is saying that if you sell your stocks, you won't have them anymore, and cannot gain money when the market recovers and the stocks go up again.

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1

"Lock in" is used to mean secure with a lock.

He was locked in prison.

Because I couldn't find my keys, I was locked in my house.

I locked my jewellery in my safe.

Lock in used metaphorically means making secure or certain.

“The biggest lesson we learned from the global financial crisis was to not abandon stocks because that’s how we lock in* losses,” Hooper said. “Maintain disciplined, long-term asset allocations.”

The sense here is that losses are made certain. Normally one would talk about locking in – something one has.

My shares were already up 30%, so I sold them to lock in the gains.

The profit I have made on paper is made certain by selling the shares.

By extension, it can also be used to mean make a loss certain. And that is the sense above*: once the shares are sold at a loss, it is a certain loss.

The language is no doubt influenced by gambling language. Poker players use the word "lock" to mean a poker hand that is unbeatable; no matter what cards come, or what the opponents hold, the hand is certain to win.

The term "lock in" can also refer to a private gathering in a pub after hours. In that situation after public opening hours have ended, the landlord locks the doors, making it now a private gathering, usually so the drinking may continue.

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