Definition of mortise in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈmɔːtɪs/
(also mortice)


A hole or recess cut into a part which is designed to receive a corresponding projection (a tenon) on another part so as to join or lock the parts together: a mortise and tenon joint
More 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: the top plate of the rudder assembly can be mortised to the top of the rudder post
More 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 (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

Line breaks: mor|tise

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