from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A fan-shaped tenon that forms a tight interlocking joint when fitted into a corresponding mortise.
- n. A joint formed by interlocking one or more such tenons and mortises.
- transitive v. To cut into or join by means of dovetails.
- transitive v. To connect or combine precisely or harmoniously.
- intransitive v. To be joined together by means of dovetails.
- intransitive v. To combine or interlock into a unified whole: The nurses' schedules dovetailed, so that one was always on duty.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A type of joint where adjoining boards are fastened by interlocking fan-shaped cutouts.
- v. To unite with a dovetail joint.
- v. To fit together well.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A flaring tenon, or tongue (shaped like a bird's tail spread), and a mortise, or socket, into which it fits tightly, making an interlocking joint between two pieces which resists pulling a part in all directions except one.
- transitive v.
- transitive v. To cut to a dovetail.
- transitive v. To join by means of dovetails.
- transitive v. To fit in or connect strongly, skillfully, or nicely; to fit ingeniously or complexly.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In carpentry, a tenon cut in the form of a dove's tail spread, or of a reversed wedge; a manner of fastening boards or timbers together by letting tenons so cut on one into corresponding cavities or mortises in another.
- To unite by tenons in the form of a pigeon's tail spread let into corresponding mortises in a board or timber: as, to dovetail the angles of a box.
- Figuratively, to unite closely, as if by dovetails; fit or adjust exactly and firmly; adapt, as one institution to another, so that they work together smoothly and harmoniously.
- n. plural Two irons, one with a flange, the other with a recess, cut to a taper: used to hold carriage-doors in position.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a mortise joint formed by interlocking tenons and mortises
- v. fit together tightly, as if by means of a dovetail
dove + tail (Wiktionary)