mortise

noun
mor·​tise | \ˈmȯr-təs \
variants: or less commonly mortice

Definition of mortise 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: a hole, groove, or slot into or through which some other part of an arrangement of parts fits or passes especially : a cavity cut into a piece of material (such as timber) to receive a tenon — see dovetail illustration

mortise

verb
variants: or less commonly mortice
mortised also morticed; mortising also morticing

Definition of mortise (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to join or fasten securely specifically : to join or fasten by a tenon and mortise

2 : to cut or make a mortise in

Examples of mortise in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The IglooHome smart mortise lock combines those with a keypad and lever, and comes with hotel-like access fobs for those who don’t want to use the app. Joshua Fruhlinger, WSJ, "Is It Smart to Install a Smart Lock?," 11 July 2018 The structure was built using mortise and tenon, with pegs for extra strength-- a technique lost in the following century. Adele Foster, NOLA.com, "Mandeville Bible Church, established in 1876, breathes history on Carroll Street," 16 July 2017

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

First Known Use of mortise

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for mortise

Noun

Middle English mortays, from Anglo-French mortais

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about mortise

Statistics for mortise

Last Updated

12 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for mortise

The first known use of mortise was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for mortise

mortise

noun

English Language Learners Definition of mortise

: a hole that is cut in a piece of wood or other material so that another piece (called a tenon) will fit into it to form a connection

More from Merriam-Webster on mortise

See words that rhyme with mortise

Comments on mortise

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a trusted follower

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!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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