[in-ter-stish-uh l]
  1. Crystallography. an imperfection in a crystal caused by the presence of an extra atom in an otherwise complete lattice.Compare vacancy(def 6).

Origin of interstitial

1640–50; < Latin interstiti(um) interstice + -al1
Related formsin·ter·sti·tial·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for interstitial


  1. of or relating to an interstice or interstices
  2. physics forming or occurring in an intersticean interstitial atom
  3. chem containing interstitial atoms or ionsan interstitial compound
  4. anatomy zoology occurring in the spaces between organs, tissues, etcinterstitial cells
  1. chem an atom or ion situated in the interstices of a crystal lattice
Derived Formsinterstitially, adverb
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 interstitial

1640s, from Latin interstitium (see interstice) + -al (1). Related: Interstitially.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

interstitial in Medicine


  1. Relating to or situated in the small, narrow spaces between tissues or parts of an organ.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.