Definition of mortise in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈmôrdəs/
(also mortice)


A hole or recess cut into a part, designed to receive a corresponding projection (a tenon) on another part so as to join or lock the parts together.
Example sentences
  • With an octagonal cross section, the frame of the pagoda is completely made of wooden parts solidly linked by many mortises and tenons held together by a sophisticated system of brackets, in 54 different varieties.
  • Mark and cut the mortise and recess for the strike plate using the same method used for installing the lock.
  • The bars were jointed to the stiles and rails using a small mortise with a corresponding tenon in the bar.


[with object]
1Join securely by using a mortise and tenon.
Example sentences
  • Helping to compensate for this are the joined struts that are mortised and tenoned to both the joists and rafters, in effect converting each rafter-joist pair into what might be described as the most primitive form of truss.
  • All members with the exception of the collar ties and wind braces are mortised and tenoned together with long tapered pins that secure the joints.
  • Drill into the frame and into the stud behind it at this point, mortise the frame to accept the strike plate, then attach the plate to the frame.
1.1 [with object] (often as adjective mortised) Cut a mortise in or through: the mortised ports
More example sentences
  • Interestingly, neither the chairs nor the armchair have side rails mortised through the rear posts as is so common (but not universal) in Philadelphia work.
  • Mammoth tree trunks stretch across ceilings above hand-carved lintels, mortised into place in elaborate structures.
  • The extractor is massive and mortised into the side of the bolt.



Example sentences
  • He went to a woodworking site so he could learn how to build a tool called a mortiser that he had just ordered and had just arrived a couple days earlier.
  • The standard morticer is supplied without cutters but there is a version with 3 cutters.
  • It does all you can ask of a morticer albeit with the inconveniences that I mentioned.


Late Middle English: from Old French mortaise.

Words that rhyme with mortise

rigor mortis

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: mor·tise

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