[ duhv-teyl ]
/ ˈdʌvˌteɪl /

noun Carpentry.

a tenon broader at its end than at its base; pin.
a joint formed of one or more such tenons fitting tightly within corresponding mortises.

verb (used with or without object)

Carpentry. to join or fit together by means of a dovetail or dovetails.
to join or fit together compactly or harmoniously.

Origin of dovetail

First recorded in 1555–65; so named from its shape


dove·tail·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for dovetail

British Dictionary definitions for dovetail

/ (ˈdʌvˌteɪl) /


a wedge-shaped tenon
Also called: dovetail joint a joint containing such tenons


(tr) to join by means of dovetails
to fit or cause to fit together closely or neatlyhe 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