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dovetail

[duhv-teyl] /ˈdʌvˌteɪl/
noun, Carpentry.
1.
a tenon broader at its end than at its base; pin.
2.
a joint formed of one or more such tenons fitting tightly within corresponding mortises.
verb (used with or without object)
3.
Carpentry. to join or fit together by means of a dovetail or dovetails.
4.
to join or fit together compactly or harmoniously.
Origin of dovetail
1555-1565
First recorded in 1555-65; so named from its shape
Related forms
dovetailer, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for dovetail
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Set the bevel-square at the proper angle for a dovetail, Fig. 250.

    Handwork in Wood

    William Noyes
  • When dressed off, it gives the appearance of a dovetail on each face.

    Handwork in Wood

    William Noyes
  • This dovetail is half blind, so that the joint will not appear when the drawer is shut.

    Handwork in Wood

    William Noyes
  • In place of the grooves the cavity may be of the dovetail form.

  • Fig. 41 shows a "Tee Halving Joint" with a dovetail cut on the edge.

    Woodwork Joints William Fairham
  • With a fine tenon or dovetail saw, cut the saw kerf as at Fig. 316.

    Woodwork Joints William Fairham
  • Only it was hard for the child to dovetail the two halves of her life.

    Ghetto Comedies

    Israel Zangwill
British Dictionary definitions for dovetail

dovetail

/ˈdʌvˌteɪl/
noun
1.
a wedge-shaped tenon
2.
Also called dovetail joint. a joint containing such tenons
verb
3.
(transitive) to join by means of dovetails
4.
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 dovetail

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 dovetail

dovetail

verb

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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Word Value for dovetail

12
14
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