[ in-tur-puh-leyt ]
See synonyms for: interpolateinterpolated on

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).

  1. to alter (a text) by the insertion of new matter, especially deceptively or without authorization.

  2. 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

First recorded in 1605–15; from Latin interpolātus, past participle of interpolāre “to make new, refurbish, touch up,” equivalent to inter- “between, among, together” + -polā- verb stem (akin to polīre “to polish”) + -tus past participle suffix; see inter-, polish

Other words from interpolate

  • in·ter·po·la·ble [in-tur-puh-luh-buhl], /ɪnˈtɜr pə lə bəl/, adjective
  • in·ter·po·lat·er, in·ter·po·la·tor, noun
  • in·ter·po·la·to·ry [in-tur-puh-luh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee], /ɪnˈtɜr pə ləˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/, in·ter·po·la·tive, adjective
  • in·ter·po·la·tive·ly, adverb
  • non·in·ter·po·lat·ing, adjective
  • non·in·ter·po·la·tive, adjective
  • un·in·ter·po·lat·ed, adjective
  • un·in·ter·po·la·tive, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use interpolate in a sentence

  • His proofs of this odd oversight of the fraudulent interpolator, who should have altered the line, are Iliad, IV.

    Homer and His Age | Andrew Lang
  • 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
  • Finally came Interpolator B, who was the first to combine the Grendel story, thus elaborated, with the dragon story.

    Beowulf | R. W. Chambers
  • Interpolator B was responsible for the great bulk of the interpolations: episodes from other cycles and "theologizing" matter.

    Beowulf | R. W. Chambers
  • 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 interpolate


/ (ɪnˈtɜːpəˌleɪt) /

  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)

  1. (intr) to make additions, interruptions, or insertions

  2. maths to estimate (a value of a function) between the values already known or determined: Compare extrapolate (def. 1)

Origin of interpolate

C17: from Latin interpolāre to give a new appearance to, from inter- + polīre to polish

Derived forms of interpolate

  • interpolater or interpolator, noun
  • interpolative, adjective

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