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[in-tur-puh-leyt] /ɪnˈtɜr pəˌleɪt/
verb (used with object), interpolated, interpolating.
to introduce (something additional or extraneous) between other things or parts; interject; interpose; intercalate.
Mathematics. to insert, estimate, or find an intermediate term in (a sequence).
to alter (a text) by the insertion of new matter, especially deceptively or without authorization.
to insert (new or spurious matter) in this manner.
verb (used without object), interpolated, interpolating.
to make an interpolation.
Origin of interpolate
1605-15; < Latin interpolātus past participle of interpolāre to make new, refurbish, touch up, equivalent to inter- inter- + -polā- verb stem (akin to polīre to polish) + -tus past participle suffix
Related forms
[in-tur-puh-luh-buh l] /ɪnˈtɜr pə lə bəl/ (Show IPA),
interpolater, interpolator, noun
[in-tur-puh-luh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ɪnˈtɜr pə ləˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/ (Show IPA),
interpolative, adjective
interpolatively, adverb
noninterpolating, adjective
noninterpolative, adjective
uninterpolated, adjective
uninterpolative, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for interpolator
Historical Examples
  • The hand of the adapter, the interpolator and the reviser is unmistakably present.

  • We cannot forthwith declare the two passages to be the work of an interpolator.

    Beowulf R. W. Chambers
  • But surely an interpolator must have been aware that this was their attitude from the outset.

    The Three Additions to Daniel, A Study William Heaford Daubney
  • He fully condemns these lines as the work of an interpolator.

  • interpolator B was responsible for the great bulk of the interpolations: episodes from other cycles and "theologizing" matter.

    Beowulf R. W. Chambers
  • But Merkel, followed by Palmer, considered 31-38 an interpolation; and aeripedes may have been what the interpolator wrote.

  • The interpolator has unconsciously confessed the feeling which allowed him to take so great a liberty.

    Short Studies on Great Subjects James Anthony Froude
  • I ventured in 1896 to suggest that the interpolator was trying to please Pisistratus, but this was said in a spirit of mockery.

    Homer and His Age Andrew Lang
  • If John vii., 3-11, is an interpolation let us hope Heaven has long ago blessed the interpolator.

    The Delicious Vice Young E. Allison
British Dictionary definitions for interpolator


to insert or introduce (a comment, passage, etc) into (a conversation, text, etc)
to falsify or alter (a text, manuscript, etc) by the later addition of (material, esp spurious or valueless passages)
(intransitive) to make additions, interruptions, or insertions
(maths) to estimate (a value of a function) between the values already known or determined Compare extrapolate (sense 1)
Derived Forms
interpolater, interpolator, noun
interpolative, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Latin interpolāre to give a new appearance to, from inter- + polīre to polish
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
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Word Origin and History for interpolator

1650s, from Latin interpolator, agent noun from past participle stem of interpolare (see interpolate).



1610s, "to alter or enlarge (a writing) by inserting new material," from Latin interpolatus, past participle of interpolare "alter, freshen up, polish;" of writing, "falsify," from inter- "up" (see inter-) + polare, related to polire "to smoothe, polish." Sense evolved in Latin from "refurbish," to "alter appearance of," to "falsify (especially by adding new material)." Middle English had interpolen (early 15c.) in a similar sense. Related: Interpolated; interpolating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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