verb (used with object), in·ter·po·lat·ed, in·ter·po·lat·ing.

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), in·ter·po·lat·ed, in·ter·po·lat·ing.

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for interpolator

Historical Examples of interpolator

  • 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.


    R. W. Chambers

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

  • 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.


    R. W. Chambers

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