Word of the DayThursday, November 15, 2012
\DUHV-teyl\ , verb;
To join or fit together compactly or harmoniously.
In carpentry, a joint formed of one or more such tenons fitting tightlywithin corresponding mortises.
To join or fit together by means of a carpentry dovetail or dovetails.
In carpentry, a tenon broader at its end than at its base; pin.
But in “Arcadia” the two periods don't dovetail until the last part of the play.
-- Tom Stoppard, Mel Gussow, Conversations With Stoppard
They seemed, after a fashion, to dovetail horribly with something which I had dreamed or read, but which I could no longer remember.
-- H.P. Lovecraft, The Shadow Out of Time
Dovetail originates in woodworking, with a joint that resembles the tail of a dove. The figurative sense derives from the tight fit made by such a joint.
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