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

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 Its new monogram, however, is an an interlocking 'TB' pattern—after the house's founder, Thomas Burberry—done in a red, honey-beige, and white color scheme. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Riccardo Tisci Reveals New Burberry Logo and Monogram," 2 Aug. 2018 The closest on-court tiff to resemble MMA this season occurred when Draymond Green and Bradley Beal interlocked and tumbled into the front row on Oct. 28. Jake Fischer,, "Miami Heat Foward, MMA Warrior And Black Belt James Johnson Evaluates Recent NBA Fights," 20 Jan. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 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

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

28 Feb 2019

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 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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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


having no equal

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Dictionary Devil

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!