verb (used with object), in·ter·po·lat·ed, in·ter·po·lat·ing.
  1. to introduce (something additional or extraneous) between other things or parts; interject; interpose; intercalate.
  2. Mathematics. to insert, estimate, or find an intermediate term in (a sequence).
  3. to alter (a text) by the insertion of new matter, especially deceptively or without authorization.
  4. to insert (new or spurious matter) in this manner.
verb (used without object), in·ter·po·lat·ed, in·ter·po·lat·ing.
  1. 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 formsin·ter·po·la·ble [in-tur-puh-luh-buh l] /ɪnˈtɜr pə lə bəl/, adjectivein·ter·po·lat·er, in·ter·po·la·tor, nounin·ter·po·la·to·ry [in-tur-puh-luh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ɪnˈtɜr pə ləˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/, in·ter·po·la·tive, adjectivein·ter·po·la·tive·ly, adverbnon·in·ter·po·lat·ing, adjectivenon·in·ter·po·la·tive, adjectiveun·in·ter·po·lat·ed, adjectiveun·in·ter·po·la·tive, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for interpolated

Contemporary Examples of interpolated

  • No implausible publication with “interpolated essays on the virtues of sanitary improvement” is beyond his sight.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Best of Brit Lit

    Peter Stothard

    August 20, 2009

Historical Examples of interpolated

  • "The driver he tried for to whip up," interpolated Jem Bottles.

    The O'Ruddy

    Stephen Crane

  • “Their vaults are, no doubt, in a most insanitary condition,” interpolated the doctor.

    The Nebuly Coat

    John Meade Falkner

  • "I should like to know exactly what you did say, Robin," I interpolated.

  • “Propped up in bed, to be quite comfortable,” interpolated Georgia.

    Betty Wales Senior

    Margaret Warde

  • "That your daughter should have all this money," interpolated Beecot.

    The Opal Serpent

    Fergus Hume

British Dictionary definitions for interpolated


  1. to insert or introduce (a comment, passage, etc) into (a conversation, text, etc)
  2. to falsify or alter (a text, manuscript, etc) by the later addition of (material, esp spurious or valueless passages)
  3. (intr) to make additions, interruptions, or insertions
  4. maths to estimate (a value of a function) between the values already known or determinedCompare extrapolate (def. 1)
Derived Formsinterpolater or interpolator, nouninterpolative, adjective

Word Origin for interpolate

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

Word Origin and History for interpolated



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