• synonyms


or mor·tice

See more synonyms for mortise on Thesaurus.com
  1. a notch, hole, groove, or slot made in a piece of wood or the like to receive a tenon of the same dimensions.
  2. a deep recess cut into wood for any of several other purposes, as for receiving a mortise lock.
  3. Printing. a space cut out of a plate, especially for the insertion of type or another plate.
Show More
verb (used with object), mor·tised, mor·tis·ing.
  1. to secure with a mortise and tenon.
  2. to cut or form a mortise in (a piece of wood or the like).
  3. to join securely.
  4. Printing.
    1. to cut metal from (a plate).
    2. to cut out metal from a plate and insert (new material) in its place.
Show More

Origin of mortise

1350–1400; Middle English morteys, mortaise < Anglo-French mortais(e), Old French mortoise, of obscure origin
Related formsmor·tis·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

harmonize, conform, coincide, jibe, correspond, screw, tighten, weld, affix, adhere, nail, attach, bolt, solder, glue, truss, accord, square, join, tally

Examples from the Web for mortised

Historical Examples

  • For larger engravings a number of sections were mortised together.

    Why Bewick Succeeded

    Jacob Kainen

  • Thy throne is mortised with their bones, cemented with their blood.

    The Book of Khalid

    Ameen Rihani

  • Then he mortised his chin in his brown hands and blinked while he waited.

    Little Novels of Italy

    Maurice Henry Hewlett

  • Let the posts be tied together at the top by mortised beams.

  • He turned the case over, and saw that the bottom had been mortised and screwed.

    The Hand in the Dark

    Arthur J. Rees

British Dictionary definitions for mortised



  1. 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
  2. printing a cavity cut into a letterpress printing plate into which type or another plate is inserted
Show More
verb (tr)
  1. to cut a slot or recess in (a piece of wood, stone, etc)
  2. to join (two pieces of wood, stone, etc) by means of a mortise and tenon
  3. to cut a cavity in (a letterpress printing plate) for the insertion of type, etc
Show More
Derived Formsmortiser, 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

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.

Show More



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

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper