Definition of dovetail in English:
1A joint formed by one or more tapered projections (tenons) on one piece which interlock with corresponding notches or recesses (mortises) in another.
- The joints would all be familiar to a carpenter - mortise and tenons, dovetails and wedges - but this was the traditional way in which iron structures were joined at the time.
- The router is used to cut contours in wood for edgings and moldings or for more complex relief panels and inlay work, dovetails, and mortises.
- There are two main types - the mortise and tenon, and the dovetail.
verbBack to top
1 [with object] Join together by means of a dovetail.
- He explained his enthusiasm for bees, from a small child of eight years old and his stories of his family especially of his father, who made bee hives which were dovetailed and not nailed together.
- But within the regular outline, it is divided obliquely into two irregularly shaped parts of unequal size that descending in height towards the centre are dovetailed together.
- The castings were dovetailed and bolted together, and formed the basis for a four-passenger automobile that weighed just 948 lb.
2Fit or cause to fit together easily and conveniently: [with object]: plan to enable parents to dovetail their career and family commitments [no object]: flights that dovetail with the working day
More example sentences
- He would not speculate on whether a March end to his radio contract would conveniently dovetail with the start of a national election campaign.
- Government and Corporate America should work together to ensure that new safeguards dovetail with the workings of a high-productivity economy.
- If the proposal was approved, he said construction would take 3-4 months and would be completed to dovetail with the expansion of Lismore Square.
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