• synonyms


[in-tur-kuh-ler-ee, in-ter-kal-uh-ree]
  1. interpolated; interposed.
  2. inserted or interpolated in the calendar, as an extra day or month.
  3. having such an inserted day, month, etc., as a particular year.
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Origin of intercalary

1605–15; < Latin intercalārius, equivalent to intercal(āre) to intercalate + -ārius -ary
Related formsin·ter·ca·lar·i·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for intercalary

Historical Examples of intercalary

  • But to quit this episode, and to return to my intercalary year of happiness.

    Confessions of an English Opium-Eater

    Thomas De Quincey

  • The intercalary month was inserted between the 23rd and 24th of February.

    The Letters of Cicero, Volume 1

    Marcus Tullius Cicero

  • It might be that an intercalary month should be added, and cause delay.

    The Life of Cicero

    Anthony Trollope

  • Now in leap-year the 29th day of February is the additional or intercalary day.

    Our Calendar

    George Nichols Packer

  • Also, no dendrobatid has intercalary elements in the digits.

British Dictionary definitions for intercalary


  1. (of a day, month, etc) inserted in the calendar
  2. (of a particular year) having one or more days inserted
  3. inserted, introduced, or interpolated
  4. botany growing between the upper branches and the lower branches or bracts on a stem
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Derived Formsintercalarily, adverb

Word Origin for intercalary

C17: from Latin intercalārius; see intercalate
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

Word Origin and History for intercalary


1610s, from Latin intercalarius, from intercalare (see intercalate).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

intercalary in Medicine


(ĭn-tûrkə-lĕr′ē, ĭn′tər-kălə-rē)
  1. Occurring between two others, as an upstroke between two normal pulse beats in a pulse tracing.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.