in·​ter·​lock | \ ˌin-tər-ˈläk How to pronounce interlock (audio) \
interlocked; interlocking; interlocks

Definition of interlock

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to become locked together or interconnected

transitive verb

1 : to lock together : unite
2 : to connect so that the motion or operation of any part is constrained by another


in·​ter·​lock | \ ˈin-tər-ˌläk How to pronounce interlock (audio) \

Definition of interlock (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the quality, state, sense, or an instance of being interlocked
2 : an arrangement in which the operation of one part or mechanism automatically brings about or prevents the operation of another a safety interlock
3a : a stretchable fabric made on a circular knitting machine and consisting of two ribbed fabrics joined by interlocking
b : a garment made of interlock

Examples of interlock in a Sentence


She interlocked her fingers with his.

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Place the free hand on top of the other, interlocking your fingers. Gianluca Mezzofiore, CNN, "Women are less likely than men to receive CPR in public. A new product is designed to change that," 5 June 2019 Yeah, the boring bricks are interlocking with a precise surface finish, so two people could build the outer walls of a small house in a day or so — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 26, 2018 Stay tuned. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Elon Musk plans to make life-size Lego-like bricks from drilled earth," 28 Mar. 2018 The changes are complex enough—most of the rules governing international tax are wholly new, for example—and interlocking enough that there are few rules of thumb: What works for one company may not for another. Theo Francis, WSJ, "WSJ Tax Guide 2019: What Investors Need to Know," 15 Feb. 2019 This specific section of the track is called the A-2 interlocking, and it’s actually the only part of Metra’s rail system that uses these open flames to heat the tracks. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "It's So Cold in Chicago That the Rail Company Is Lighting Its Tracks on Fire," 30 Jan. 2019 This game is a master class in complex level design, with plenty of interlocking systems and relations that tie together in intricate ways. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Ars Technica’s best games of 2018," 24 Dec. 2018 Idea #4: White tile gets glammed-up with metallic hues and interlocking star shapes. Sarah Bray, House Beautiful, "6 Gorgeous Graphic Tiles," 24 June 2014 The earth’s mantle consists of an interlocking puzzle of tectonic plates. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "Earth’s Crust Is Swallowing Way More Ocean Than We Thought," 15 Nov. 2018 In addition, Saville has created an interlocking TB pattern—after Thomas Burberry, the house’s founder—in coral red, honey beige, and white. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Riccardo Tisci Rebrands Burberry With a New Peter Saville Logo," 2 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

There are two simple parts to this life-changing hanger: the top piece, which snaps onto the picture frame wire with clamps to lock it in place, and the hanger, which slides onto the bottom wall receiver and interlocks with the top piece. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "Finally, a Picture Hanging Tool That Automatically Levels the Frame," 16 May 2019 Before, 2992 Ranger pickups in the U.S. had faulty shifter interlock assemblies on 10-speed automatic transmissions that let the driver move the shifter from park without the key or stepping on the brake. Clifford Atiyeh, Car and Driver, "Ford Recalls 260,000 More Fusion Sedans for Breaking Shifter Cables," 15 May 2019 All interlock to create an optical illusion that makes my brain hurt (in a good way). 8. Devon Abelman, Allure, "13 Unexpected Ways to Wear Winged Eyeliner That Are Taking Over Instagram," 14 Sep. 2018 These systems have been standard for front-seat vehicles since 1974 in the United States — after the government gave up on the idea of using ignition interlocks to enforce seat belt rules. Fredrick Kunkle, Washington Post, "The U.S. needs to move forward on rear-seat safety belts," 20 Mar. 2018 There are several reasons that states are reluctant to pass stricter ignition interlock laws. Sophie Kaplan, USA TODAY, "Can your state be doing more to prevent drunken driving? MADD report rates the states," 5 Feb. 2018 Bendlin is required to have a ignition interlock device installed in his car, but did not have one at the time of the traffic stop, police said. Elliot Hughes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee man charged with drunken driving for sixth time," 5 July 2018 An ignition interlock analyzes a driver’s breath and prevents a car from being started if alcohol is detected. Sara Jean Green, The Seattle Times, "State Patrol: Suspect in deadly head-on crash near Arlington convicted of DUI six times," 2 July 2018 If so, the interlock prevents the vehicle from starting. Fredrick Kunkle, Washington Post, "MADD’s latest report on drunken driving shows we still have a long way to go," 24 Jan. 2018

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

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First Known Use of interlock


1632, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense


1874, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for interlock

Last Updated

20 Jun 2019

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The first known use of interlock was in 1632

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More Definitions for interlock



English Language Learners Definition of interlock

: to connect or lock (two or more things) together


in·​ter·​lock | \ ˌin-tər-ˈläk How to pronounce interlock (audio) \
interlocked; interlocking

Kids Definition of interlock

: to connect or lock together … she sat bowed, with her dirt-caked fingers idly interlocked in her lap …— Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee


intransitive verb
in·​ter·​lock | \ ˌin-tər-ˈläk How to pronounce interlock (audio) \

Legal Definition of interlock

: to be or become mutually connected also : to be consistent in regard to major elements confessions that interlock

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More from Merriam-Webster on interlock

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with interlock

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for interlock

Spanish Central: Translation of interlock

Nglish: Translation of interlock for Spanish Speakers

Comments on interlock

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showing courage and determination

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