interdigitate

verb
in·​ter·​dig·​i·​tate | \ ˌin-tər-ˈdi-jə-ˌtāt How to pronounce interdigitate (audio) \
interdigitated; interdigitating

Definition of interdigitate

intransitive verb

: to become interlocked like the fingers of folded hands

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Other Words from interdigitate

interdigitation \ ˌin-​tər-​ˌdi-​jə-​ˈtā-​shən How to pronounce interdigitate (audio) \ noun

Did you know?

It probably won’t surprise you to learn that interdigitate comes from the prefix inter-, as in interlock, and the Latin word digitus, meaning "finger." Digitus also gave us digit, which is used in English today to refer to (among other things) the finger or toe of any animal. "Interdigitate" usually suggests an interlocking of things with fingerlike projections, such as muscle fibers or the teeth of an old-fashioned bear trap. The word can also be used figuratively to imply a smooth interweaving of disparate things, such as the blending of two cultures within a shared region.

First Known Use of interdigitate

circa 1849, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for interdigitate

inter- + Latin digitus finger — more at toe

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Time Traveler for interdigitate

Time Traveler

The first known use of interdigitate was circa 1849

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Dictionary Entries Near interdigitate

interdiffusion

interdigitate

interdine

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Cite this Entry

“Interdigitate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/interdigitate. Accessed 16 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for interdigitate

interdigitate

intransitive verb
in·​ter·​dig·​i·​tate | \ -ˈdij-ə-ˌtāt How to pronounce interdigitate (audio) \
interdigitated; interdigitating

Medical Definition of interdigitate

1 : to become interlocked like the fingers of folded hands thick myosin filaments interdigitate with the thin actin filaments— J. M. Squire
2 : to undergo intercuspation these teeth do not interdigitate completely— J. A. Glassman

Other Words from interdigitate

interdigitation \ -​ˌdij-​ə-​ˈtā-​shən How to pronounce interdigitate (audio) \ noun

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