Try Our Apps


Famous Last Words


or mortice

[mawr-tis] /ˈmɔr tɪs/
a notch, hole, groove, or slot made in a piece of wood or the like to receive a tenon of the same dimensions.
a deep recess cut into wood for any of several other purposes, as for receiving a mortise lock.
Printing. a space cut out of a plate, especially for the insertion of type or another plate.
verb (used with object), mortised, mortising.
to secure with a mortise and tenon.
to cut or form a mortise in (a piece of wood or the like).
to join securely.
  1. to cut metal from (a plate).
  2. to cut out metal from a plate and insert (new material) in its place.
Origin of mortise
1350-1400; Middle English morteys, mortaise < Anglo-French mortais(e), Old French mortoise, of obscure origin
Related forms
mortiser, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for mortised
Historical Examples
  • Its solidity was that of mortised logs and its windows were protected behind solid shutters.

    The Portal of Dreams Charles Neville Buck
  • The front and back apron pieces are mortised to receive a 1-in.

    Mission Furniture H. H. Windsor
  • This makes a very rigid article of furniture, if mortised and tenoned and properly glued.

    Carpentry for Boys J. S. Zerbe
  • All the rails are mortised into the posts for a depth of 5/8 in., also the slats are mortised 5/8 in.

    Mission Furniture H. H. Windsor
  • A large stone is removed from the wall to admit the prisoner, and once immured, the masonry is mortised, and made solid as before.

    The Lancashire Witches William Harrison Ainsworth
  • The slats should now be made and mortised into the top rail 1/4 in.

    Mission Furniture H. H. Windsor
  • Then he mortised his chin in his brown hands and blinked while he waited.

    Little Novels of Italy Maurice Henry Hewlett
  • In each end there are four slats which should be mortised into the rails 1/4 in.

    Mission Furniture H. H. Windsor
  • It was constructed of two large cedar logs hewn out and mortised together.

    A Journey in Southeastern Mexico Henry Howard Harper
  • For larger engravings a number of sections were mortised together.

    Why Bewick Succeeded Jacob Kainen
British Dictionary definitions for mortised


a slot or recess, usually rectangular, cut into a piece of wood, stone, etc, to receive a matching projection (tenon) of another piece, or a mortise lock
(printing) a cavity cut into a letterpress printing plate into which type or another plate is inserted
verb (transitive)
to cut a slot or recess in (a piece of wood, stone, etc)
to join (two pieces of wood, stone, etc) by means of a mortise and tenon
to cut a cavity in (a letterpress printing plate) for the insertion of type, etc
Derived Forms
mortiser, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French mortoise, perhaps from Arabic murtazza fastened in position
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for mortised



c.1400, "hole or groove in which something is fitted to form a joint," from Old French mortaise (13c.), possibly from Arabic murtazz "fastened," past participle of razza "cut a mortise in." Cf. Spanish mortaja.


mid-15c., from mortise (n.). Related: Mortised; mortising.



mid-15c., from mortise (n.). Related: Mortised; mortising.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for mortise

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for mortised

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for mortised