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dovetail

noun dove·tail \ ˈdəv-ˌtāl \
Updated on: 9 Dec 2017

Definition of dovetail

: something resembling a dove's tail; especially : a flaring tenon and a mortise into which it fits tightly making an interlocking joint between two pieces (as of wood)

Recent Examples of dovetail from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dovetail.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Illustration of dovetail

First Known Use of dovetail

1573

Other Building Terms


2

dovetail

verb

Definition of dovetail

transitive verb
1 a : to join by means of dovetails
b : to cut to a dovetail
2 a : to fit skillfully to form a whole
b : to fit together with
intransitive verb
: to fit together into a whole

Examples of dovetail in a Sentence

  1. the Union and the Confederate accounts of the battle don't dovetail at all

Recent Examples of dovetail from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dovetail.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of dovetail

circa 1656

dovetail Synonyms


DOVETAIL Defined for English Language Learners

dovetail

noun

Definition of dovetail for English Language Learners

  • : a type of joint that is used to connect two pieces of wood together


dovetail

verb

Definition of dovetail for English Language Learners

  • : to join (two pieces of wood) with dovetail joints

  • : to fit together in a pleasing or satisfying way



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