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
Dictionary.com Unabridged
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
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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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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Example sentences
So closely do the gradations of culture dovetail into one another.
For one thing, the agencies keep their own lists of investigations, which do not completely dovetail.
For best results, the magnetic properties of the tape must dovetail with the characteristics of the recorder.
In addition, the film is framed by opening and closing coffee-shop scenes that turn out to dovetail.
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