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[v. in-ter-lok, in-ter-lok; n. in-ter-lok] /v. ˌɪn tərˈlɒk, ˈɪn tərˌlɒk; n. 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.
1625-35; inter- + lock1
Related forms
interlocker, noun
uninterlocked, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for interlock
  • The teeth on those gears aren't even and the way they interlock mean they'd never turn.
  • If two people feel vulnerable simultaneously, these two tendencies can interlock and increase synergistically.
  • Each molar has three distinct cusps that interlock when their jaw is closed, forming a sieve for straining krill from the water.
  • The reverse has more charming cubs in mittens and booties, all printed on a soft, easily washable cotton interlock.
  • Surrounding this tube is a sheath consisting of three steel segments designed so that they interlock and form a circular jacket.
  • The light's waves are precisely tuned to interlock with each other and become trapped.
  • Ford will notify owners beginning next week and dealers will inspect for and replace faulty interlock switches.
  • If the second tip works, you may need a shifter interlock cable adjustment.
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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