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interlock

[verb in-ter-lok, in-ter-lok; noun in-ter-lok]
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verb (used without object)
  1. to fit into each other, as parts of machinery, so that all action is synchronized.
  2. to interweave or interlace, one with another: The branches of the trees interlock to form a natural archway.
  3. Railroads. (of switches, signals, etc.) to operate together in a prearranged order.
verb (used with object)
  1. to lock one with another.
  2. to fit (parts) together to ensure coordinated action.
  3. Railroads. to arrange (switches, signals, etc.) to effect a predetermined sequence of movement.
noun
  1. the fact or condition of interlocking or of being interlocked.
  2. the existence or an instance of an interlocking directorate.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. a stretch fabric made with a circular knitting machine having two alternating sets of long and short needles.
  6. Movies. a device for synchronizing the action of a camera and sound recorder.

Origin of interlock

First recorded in 1625–35; inter- + lock1
Related formsin·ter·lock·er, nounun·in·ter·locked, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for interlock

Historical Examples

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

    Expositions of Holy Scripture

    Alexander Maclaren

  • 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.

  • As with other early types, the zygapophyses are flat and do not interlock.

  • Interlock fingers of both hands, holding them at right angles.

    Indian Scout Talks

    Charles A. Eastman


British Dictionary definitions for interlock

interlock

verb (ˌɪntəˈlɒk)
  1. to join or be joined firmly, as by a mutual interconnection of parts
noun (ˈɪntəˌlɒk)
  1. the act of interlocking or the state of being interlocked
  2. 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
  3. a closely knitted fabric
adjective (ˈɪntəˌlɒk)
  1. (of fabric) closely knitted
Derived Formsinterlocker, 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

Word Origin and History for interlock

v.

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper