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[adj. im-bri-kit, -keyt; v. im-bri-keyt] /adj. ˈɪm brɪ kɪt, -ˌkeɪt; v. ˈɪm brɪˌkeɪt/
overlapping in sequence, as tiles or shingles on a roof.
of, relating to, or resembling overlapping tiles, as decoration or drawings.
Biology. overlapping like tiles, as scales or leaves.
characterized by or as if by overlapping shingles.
verb (used with object), verb (used without object), imbricated, imbricating.
to overlap, as tiles or shingles.
1650-60; < Late Latin imbricātus tiled with imbrices, shaped like such a tile or tiling, equivalent to imbric- (stem of imbrex) imbrex + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
imbricately, adverb
imbricative, adjective
nonimbricate, adjective
nonimbricately, adverb
nonimbricated, adjective
nonimbricating, adjective
nonimbricative, adjective
subimbricate, adjective
subimbricately, adverb
subimbricated, adjective
subimbricative, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for imbricate
  • To imbricate more deeply ourselves into the flesh of the world.
  • Involucral bracts in one series, not imbricate, sometimes with a few reduced bracts below.
  • The sepals are imbricate, and the inner ones have teeth with bulbous glandular tips along their edges.
  • Calyx not tubular, the sepals distinct and imbricate.
  • Structurally the area is characterized by imbricate thrust faulting and high-angle reverse faulting.
  • imbricate is a term that describes a scale pattern with edges overlapping in a wavy pattern.
British Dictionary definitions for imbricate


adjective (ˈɪmbrɪkɪt; -ˌkeɪt)
(architect) relating to or having tiles, shingles, or slates that overlap
(botany) (of leaves, scales, etc) overlapping each other
verb (ˈɪmbrɪˌkeɪt)
(transitive) to decorate with a repeating pattern resembling scales or overlapping tiles
Derived Forms
imbricately, adverb
imbrication, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin imbricāre to cover with overlapping tiles, from imbrex pantile
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 imbricate

1704 (implied in imbricated), from Latin imbricatus "covered with tiles," past participle of imbricare "to cover with rain tiles" (see imbrication). As an adjective from 1650s. Related: Imbricated; imbricating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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imbricate in Medicine

imbricate im·bri·cate (ĭm'brĭ-kāt') or im·bri·cat·ed (ĭm'brĭ-kā'tĭd)
Having the edges overlapping in a regular arrangement like roof tiles or the scales of a fish.

im'bri·ca'tion n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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