9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[duhv-teyld] /ˈdʌvˌteɪld/
adjective, Heraldry.
noting a partition line or a charge, as an ordinary, having a series of indentations suggesting dovetails.
Origin of dovetailed
1715-25; dovetail + -ed3


[duhv-teyl] /ˈdʌvˌteɪl/
noun, Carpentry.
a tenon broader at its end than at its base; pin.
a joint formed of one or more such tenons fitting tightly within corresponding mortises.
verb (used with object), verb (used without object)
Carpentry. to join or fit together by means of a dovetail or dovetails.
to join or fit together compactly or harmoniously.
1555-65; so named from its shape
Related forms
dovetailer, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for dovetailed
  • They often hold multiple positions at the same time, and their job transitions are dovetailed rather than clear changes.
  • Folks should not be surprised that a student told some whoppers that dovetailed in which the professor's positions.
  • Her slate-blue skirts were kilted boldly about her waist and dovetailed behind her.
  • There was so much that could have been done and season one dovetailed nicely to the last few episodes.
  • It was elaborately dovetailed dialogue that had to fit together.
  • Solid hardwood construction with dovetailed joints will last longer under the weight of a full file load.
  • The block-house was of square timber, dovetailed at the corners.
  • Both buildings are of oak log construction with dovetailed and pegged joints.
  • He noted that his courses dovetailed perfectly with the skills his employer was looking for in an employee.
  • Only wooden pegs and dovetailed joints hold the building together.
British Dictionary definitions for dovetailed


a wedge-shaped tenon
Also called dovetail joint. a joint containing such tenons
(transitive) to join by means of dovetails
to fit or cause to fit together closely or neatly: he dovetailed his arguments to the desired conclusion
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for dovetailed


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 bird’s tailfeather display. Related: Dovetailed.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for dovetailed



To say something linked and sequential: Let me dovetail on what you just said (1970s+ Army)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Difficulty index for dovetailed

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