View synonyms for interlock


[ verb in-ter-lok, in-ter-lok; noun in-ter-lok ]

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.


  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 ig·ni·tion in·ter·lock [ig-, nish, -, uh, n , in, -ter-lok]. 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.



  1. to join or be joined firmly, as by a mutual interconnection of parts


  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


  1. (of fabric) closely knitted

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Derived Forms

  • ˈinterˌlocker, noun

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Other Words From

  • in·ter·lock·er noun
  • un·in·ter·locked adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of interlock1

First recorded in 1625–35; inter- + lock 1

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Example Sentences

In newborns, the larynx is positioned higher in the throat, and interlocks with the soft palate to create a separation between the food pathway in the mouth and the breathing pathway in the nose.

The abstract yet seemingly organic forms dovetail, interlock and sometimes appear to tie themselves into knots.

The legs adjust to balance on uneven terrain, and the components interlock.

They in turn, as they grow, interlock their boughs, and repeat in a season or two the same process of mutual suffocation.

Both are navigable streams, and their head waters interlock with Grand river, or Washtenong, which flows into lake Michigan.

Some of its head waters interlock with those of Tippecanoe, a prominent tributary of the Wabash.

Different tariffs may interlock with complicated cross references.

On the edges of the barbs are set the barbules, which interlock with those of adjacent barbs, and thus give strength to the vane.


Related Words




interlinkinterlocking directorate