[ adjective im-bri-kit, -keyt; verb im-bri-keyt ]
/ adjective ˈɪm brɪ kɪt, -ˌkeɪt; verb ˈɪm brɪˌkeɪt /


overlapping in sequence, as tiles or shingles on a roof.
of, relating to, or resembling overlapping tiles, as decoration or drawings.
Biology. overlapping like tiles, as scales or leaves.
characterized by or as if by overlapping shingles.

verb (used with or without object), im·bri·cat·ed, im·bri·cat·ing.

to overlap, as tiles or shingles.

Origin of imbricate

1650–60; < Late Latin imbricātus tiled with imbrices, shaped like such a tile or tiling, equivalent to imbric- (stem of imbrex) imbrex + -ātus -ate1
Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for imbricate

British Dictionary definitions for imbricate


adjective (ˈɪmbrɪkɪt, -ˌkeɪt) imbricated

architect relating to or having tiles, shingles, or slates that overlap
botany (of leaves, scales, etc) overlapping each other

verb (ˈɪmbrɪˌkeɪt)

(tr) to decorate with a repeating pattern resembling scales or overlapping tiles
Derived Formsimbricately, adverbimbrication, noun

Word Origin for imbricate

C17: from Latin imbricāre to cover with overlapping tiles, from imbrex pantile
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 imbricate



1704 (implied in imbricated), from Latin imbricatus "covered with tiles," past participle of imbricare "to cover with rain tiles" (see imbrication). As an adjective from 1650s. Related: Imbricated; imbricating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for imbricate


[ ĭmbrĭ-kāt′ ]


Having the edges overlapping in a regular arrangement like roof tiles or the scales of a fish.
Related formsim′bri•cation n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.