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

Verb She interlocked her fingers with his.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Dolls and minis also sells beginner and advanced craft sets, art and needle felting supplies for all ages, doll clothes, card-making kits, bath toys and Siuban, which are plastic construction pieces that interlock with LEGO sets. cleveland, "Toys fill the aisles of Dolls and minis: Olmsted Dates and Data," 21 Aug. 2020 The finished product is about 27 inches by 20 inches, and the pieces meticulously interlock for a rewarding and practical challenge. Popular Science, "Beautiful jigsaw puzzles for an evening at home," 14 Aug. 2020 Each of their vertebrae are dense and heavily reinforced—features that make the spine sturdier—and fringed with fingerlike projections that interlock the bones together when the shrews contract their muscles. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "Hero Shrews’ Extreme, Superstrong Backbones Are the Stuff of Legends," 30 Apr. 2020 Firmly interlock your hands in front of your chest with a nice firm grip. Adele Jackson-gibson, Good Housekeeping, "The Best Exercises to Do at Your Desk, According to Fitness Pros," 24 June 2020 While the episodes aren’t interlocking, exactly, the stories told within them are related. Bill Goodykoontz, azcentral, "Anna Kendrick is good in 'Love Life.' But is the rom-com good enough to launch HBO Max?," 21 May 2020 Built in 1972, Kmart’s former headquarters, dubbed Fort Kresge, consists of a clutch of low, interlocking buildings of dark steel and mirrored glass. At A Great Price, ProPublica, "The Big Empty: How Corporate Headquarters Have Abandoned America’s Suburbs," 18 May 2020 Its Name From Logo, Jan. 7 Mastercard removed its name from its logo in most contexts, leaving the interlocking red and yellow circles to represent the brand on cards, in stores, at events and in advertising. Nat Ives, WSJ, "From Gillette’s #MeToo Ad to Starbucks’s ‘Game of Thrones’ Moment, CMO Today’s Most-Read Stories of 2019," 31 Dec. 2019 Unlike the tails of most carnivorous dinosaurs, Spinosaurus’s tail bones were not interlocked, and that suggests the tail could wiggle more, undulating back and forth in a snakelike motion. Kenneth Chang, New York Times, "A Strange Dinosaur May Have Swum the Rivers of Africa," 29 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Because of a former OUI charge, Parker was required to have an interlock ignition system that could detect alcohol consumption and prevent her from driving. Tess Williams, Anchorage Daily News, "‘It’s been really hard’: Death of Anchorage tow truck driver on the job draws attention to dangers," 4 Dec. 2020 Someone entered an unlocked vehicle parked in the 1800 block of Carl Street and stole a camera valued at $3,000 that was attached to the ignition interlock system. Star Tribune, "Twin Cities metro police blotter, Oct. 25," 24 Oct. 2020 Further, the core parts of the elytra, researchers said, interlock like a jigsaw puzzle. Joshua Bote, USA TODAY, "The diabolical ironclad beetle can survive getting run over by a car. Scientists now know how.," 22 Oct. 2020 When Contra Costa County began doing contact tracing, officials saw the housing affordability crisis interlock with the public health crisis. Rachel Swan,, "Bay Area family’s battle with COVID-19 shows why illness is spreading faster among Latinos," 19 Oct. 2020 Made from 100 percent merino wool and designed with an interlock knit, this base layer sits close to the skin, but isn’t constricting. Popular Science, "Three cozy layers for a weekend outside," 15 Sep. 2020 Potts was on probation with Arkansas Community Corrections and holds a restricted license that requires an interlock device, the sheriff’s office said. Joseph Flaherty, Arkansas Online, "Sheriff's deputy struck, injured after motorcycle chase," 7 Sep. 2020 The flattering high waist sits comfortably at the midsection without feeling too tight, and the interlock seams ensure your thighs won’t chafe or rub. Maya Gandara,, "These Stretchy Yoga Shorts Are Made from the Softest Material, According to Amazon Shoppers," 25 Aug. 2020 The design consists of a top and bottom set of slightly different size concentric cylinders—one coated in copper film, the other in Teflon—that interlock and are connected by a rubber band. Ian Randall, Science | AAAS, "Self-powered wildfire detector could help prevent deadly blazes," 24 Aug. 2020

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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Time Traveler for interlock

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The first known use of interlock was in 1632

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Cite this Entry

“Interlock.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for interlock


How to pronounce interlock (audio)

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
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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Nglish: Translation of interlock for Spanish Speakers

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