[verb in-ter-lok, in-ter-lok; noun in-ter-lok]
See more synonyms for interlock on
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 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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for interlock

interlace, intertwine, interlink, engage, interdigitate

Examples from the Web for interlock

Historical Examples of interlock

British Dictionary definitions for 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

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper