nLockTime is a parameter of a transaction, that, if any input indicates so (by having nSequence not equal to UINT_MAX), mandates a minimal time (specified in either unix time or block height), before which the transaction cannot be accepted into a block. If all inputs in a transaction have nSequence equal to UINT_MAX, then nLockTime is ignored.

See lock_time in the protocol specification

See Also on BitcoinWiki