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[verb in-ter-lok, in-ter-lok; noun in-ter-lok] /verb ˌɪn tərˈlɒk, ˈɪn tərˌlɒk; noun ˈɪn tərˌlɒk/
verb (used without object)
to fit into each other, as parts of machinery, so that all action is synchronized.
to interweave or interlace, one with another:
The branches of the trees interlock to form a natural archway.
Railroads. (of switches, signals, etc.) to operate together in a prearranged order.
verb (used with object)
to lock one with another.
to fit (parts) together to ensure coordinated action.
Railroads. to arrange (switches, signals, etc.) to effect a predetermined sequence of movement.
the fact or condition of interlocking or of being interlocked.
the existence or an instance of an interlocking directorate.
a device for preventing a mechanism from being set in motion when another mechanism is in such a position that the two operating simultaneously might produce undesirable results.
Also called ignition interlock. a device or system that prevents an automotive engine from starting until the seat belt for any occupied front seat is fastened.
a stretch fabric made with a circular knitting machine having two alternating sets of long and short needles.
Movies. a device for synchronizing the action of a camera and sound recorder.
Origin of interlock
1625-35; inter- + lock1
Related forms
interlocker, noun
uninterlocked, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for interlock
Historical Examples
  • This union is secured by a number of hairy projections which interlock, much as one's clasped fingers interlock.

  • The two interlock, and neither is sufficient without the other.

    Expositions of Holy Scripture Alexander Maclaren
  • With such a Society those who undertook this project for the habilitation of criticism would necessarily co-operate and interlock.

    Mankind in the Making H. G. Wells
  • As with other early types, the zygapophyses are flat and do not interlock.

  • Suddenly they close, the blades cross, interlock, and break away.

    Secrets of the Sword Csar Lecat de Bazancourt
  • The bones of the carpus are serially arranged and do not interlock.

  • It will be noted that the ends of the studs are scarfed so as to interlock in succeeding panels.

    Concrete Construction Halbert P. Gillette
  • The ring ends are made with tongues which interlock with the coupling.

    Aviation Engines Victor Wilfred Pag
  • The worsted yarn is combed and the fibers are not in position to interlock as in the woolen yarn (Fig. 124).

    Clothing and Health Helen Kinne
  • They in turn, as they grow, interlock their boughs, and repeat in a season or two the same process of mutual suffocation.

British Dictionary definitions for interlock


verb (ˌɪntəˈlɒk)
to join or be joined firmly, as by a mutual interconnection of parts
noun (ˈɪntəˌlɒk)
the act of interlocking or the state of being interlocked
a device, esp one operated electromechanically, used in a logic circuit or electrical safety system to prevent an activity being initiated unless preceded by certain events
a closely knitted fabric
adjective (ˈɪntəˌlɒk)
(of fabric) closely knitted
Derived Forms
interlocker, noun
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 interlock

1630s, from inter- + lock. Related: Interlocked; interlocking. As a noun, attested by 1874.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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