dove-tail

dovetail

[duhv-teyl]
noun Carpentry.
1.
a tenon broader at its end than at its base; pin.
2.
a joint formed of one or more such tenons fitting tightly within corresponding mortises.
verb (used with object), verb (used without object)
3.
Carpentry. to join or fit together by means of a dovetail or dovetails.
4.
to join or fit together compactly or harmoniously.

Origin:
1555–65; so named from its shape

dovetailer, noun
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
dovetail (ˈdʌvˌteɪl)
 
n
1.  a wedge-shaped tenon
2.  Also called: dovetail joint a joint containing such tenons
 
vb
3.  (tr) to join by means of dovetails
4.  to fit or cause to fit together closely or neatly: he dovetailed his arguments to the desired conclusion

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

dovetail
late 16c. (n.), 1650s (v.), from dove (n.) + tail. So called from resemblance of shape in the tenon or mortise of the joints to that of the birds tailfeather display. Related:Dovetailed.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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