dove·tail / ˈdəvˌtāl/ • n. (also dovetail joint) a joint formed by one or more tapered projections (tenons) on one piece that interlock with corresponding notches or recesses (mortises) in another. ∎ a tenon used in such a joint, typically wider at its extremity.• v. [tr.] join together by means of a dovetail. ∎ fit or cause to fit together easily and conveniently: [tr.] plan to enable parents to dovetail their career and family commitments | [intr.] flights that dovetail with the working day.
1. See swallowtail.
2. Wedge-shaped projection at one end of a timber designed to fit into a similarly-shaped recess in another piece to join them together.