in·​ter·​lock | \ˌin-tər-ˈläk \
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 \

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

Each branch has a set of large tangram blocks — interlocking pieces that can be built with and used as movable seats. Katherine Nails,, "Philly library initiative encourages kids to run, climb and scale walls," 21 June 2018 The cast sculpture comprises two main pieces, interlocking where the mouth of the lion meets the neck of the dog — the killing moment frozen in time. New York Times, "Charles Ray, Walking a Fine Line With a Hungry Lion," 13 May 2018 The postal clerk there even hand-cancels every envelope — protecting the expensive stationary — with a postmark featuring interlocking hearts or doves. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Why Finicky Brides Are Flocking to This Oregon Post Office," 4 June 2015 But the major appeal of the film, for me, was the willingness to honestly insert race and class as interlocking systems of oppression that keep the capitalist machine going., "Sorry To Bother You," 10 July 2018 The myriad interlocking crystal embroideries, meanwhile, were said to mirror cobblestones and netted tulle, embroidered with gold, evoked lovers’ padlocks on the Pont des Arts (that were famously banned by Paris authorities). Thomas Adamson, The Seattle Times, "Chanel recreates Paris for couture show celebrating the city," 3 July 2018 Its tall, three-level facade is clad in charcoal-gray siding interlocked with corrugated steel and natural-cedar siding. Nancy Keates, WSJ, "A Shoe Executive’s Long-Distance Run to His Oregon Abode," 11 July 2018 The show traces the street's history back to Augustus Woodward, the first judge of the Michigan territory, who arrived in 1805 and devised an interlocking hexagon plan of pathways for downtown Detroit. Julie Hinds, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit's Woodward Ave. chosen as one of 10 streets that changed America," 6 July 2018 If commuters use the service in Richmond, fewer cars will jam the interlocking streets and boulevards that feed the Interstate 80 and 580 freeways, Lewis said. Rachel Swan,, "Soon-to-open Richmond ferry terminal could revive shoreline, usher in gentrification," 5 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Place your other hand on top and interlock your fingers. Juno Demelo, Woman's Day, "Everything You Need to Know to Perform CPR in an Emergency," 25 May 2018 Giumarra is also prohibited from drinking alcohol or visiting bars during his sentence, and must enroll in DUI school as well as install interlock ignition devices on his vehicles. Benjamin Brown, Fox News, "Vineyard heir will likely avoid prison in DUI death of cyclist, mother of five," 5 Apr. 2018 The bill introduced by Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, would allow the interlock ignition manufacturers to make, market and sell Breathalyzers to use in vehicles without a report being generated and sent to the SOS. Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press, "Worried about drunk kids driving? Install an interlock Breathalyzer in family car," 11 Mar. 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.

See More

First Known Use of interlock


1632, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense


1874, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about interlock

Statistics for interlock

Last Updated

26 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for interlock

The first known use of interlock was in 1632

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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 \
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 \

Legal Definition of interlock 

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on interlock

What made you want to look up interlock? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something that serves to warn or remind

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!