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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. 2015.
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Examples from the web for interlocking
  • The roof trusses are composed of splayed, interlocking boards.
  • The linear rhythm of the planters' sides repeats in the interlocking bench seat.
  • These cool interlocking blocks help kids explore architectural principles such as balance, structure and proportion.
  • Yet it's harder to picture evolution producing a new complex organ, complete with all its precisely interlocking parts.
  • Strap holder has an interlocking bump with the strap end, so it's always in the right spot on the strap.
  • Many carvings are made from a single piece of wood and fashioned into a totem pole decorated with interlocking figures.
  • Others could find themselves in one composed of interlocking pipes connected with plastic zip ties.
  • Place interlocking cement rings that surround the leak one on top of another until they reach the surface.
  • It would be built around a flexible spine that allows the interlocking wings to change shape.
  • And he was not alone in employing it to emphasise the interlocking fortunes of the two nations.
British Dictionary definitions for interlocking


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 interlocking



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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