Meaning of imbricate in English:



formal, technical
  • (of scales, sepals, plates, etc.) having adjacent edges overlapping.

    Compare with valvate

    ‘It has terminal, fascicled inflorescences of several scarlet flowers covered by imbricate, scarious sheaths, and the labellum margins are fused with the column forming a short, saccate nectary spur.’
    • ‘They discussed the relationship of the various major thrusts to each other and to adjacent imbricate thrust systems.’
    • ‘However, if imbricate structures of folds are truncated by low-angle thrusts, the decapitated upper portions of the systems should be found, carried off towards the foreland.’
    • ‘South-facing structures in Carboniferous rocks to the north of the facing confrontation zone are interpreted as back thrusts generated by northward underthrusting of the imbricate stack to the south of the zone.’
    • ‘These rocks are preserved within a south-verging imbricate thrust stack of thin ([much less than] 1 km thick) northward younging tectonic slices.’





formal, technical
  • Overlap or cause to overlap.

    no object ‘a distinguishing feature of the echinoids is that the ossicles imbricate’
    • ‘the leaflets lie neatly imbricated one over the other’
    • ‘the book portrays Cavendish as imbricated in her social and intellectual circle’
    • ‘Now, we know that when reptiles have imbricated scales, we do find dermal muscles.’
    • ‘Instead, the most parsimonious interpretation is that the sellate sclerites were probably imbricated in anterior-posterior rows.’
    • ‘The sellate sclerites were probably imbricated posteriorly along their duplicature and sella sides.’
    • ‘They may be imbricated and/or fragmented, suggesting winnowing and directed current stress.’
    • ‘These image structures imbricate prior historical formations to displace the digital warfare irradiating the cybermilitarized economy.’





Early 17th century (in the sense ‘shaped like a pantile’): from Latin imbricat-, ‘covered with roof tiles’, from the verb imbricare, from imbrex, imbric- ‘roof tile’ (from imber ‘shower of rain’).