in·​ter·​ca·​late | \ in-ˈtər-kə-ˌlāt How to pronounce intercalate (audio) \
intercalated; intercalating

Definition of intercalate

transitive verb

1 : to insert (something, such as a day) in a calendar
2 : to insert or position between or among existing elements or layers

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from intercalate

intercalation \ in-​ˌtər-​kə-​ˈlā-​shən How to pronounce intercalate (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for intercalate

introduce, insert, insinuate, interpolate, intercalate, interpose, interject mean to put between or among others. introduce is a general term for bringing or placing a thing or person into a group or body already in existence. introduced a new topic into the conversation insert implies putting into a fixed or open space between or among. inserted a clause in the contract insinuate implies introducing gradually or by gentle pressure. insinuated himself into the group interpolate applies to the inserting of something extraneous or spurious. interpolated her own comments into the report intercalate suggests an intrusive inserting of something in an existing series or sequence. new chapters intercalated with the old interpose suggests inserting an obstruction or cause of delay. interpose barriers to communication interject implies an abrupt or forced introduction. interjected a question

Did You Know?

Intercalate was formed from the Latin prefix inter-, meaning "between" or "among," and the Latin verb calare, meaning "to proclaim" or "to call." It was originally associated with proclaiming the addition of a day or month in a calendar. An instance of intercalation occurred in the earliest versions of the Roman calendar, which originally consisted of 304 days and 10 months and was determined by the lunar cycle. When the Romans realized that they had overlooked a two-month cycle during the winter, the king "intercalated" the months January and February. Eventually, the word's use broadened to include other kinds of insertion.

Examples of intercalate in a Sentence

between the recipes for hearty peasant dishes, the author intercalates fond reminiscences of her year in the French countryside

First Known Use of intercalate

1603, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for intercalate

borrowed from Latin intercalātus, past participle of intercalāre "to insert (a day or month) into the calendar," from inter- inter- + calāre "to announce, proclaim" — more at low entry 3

Note: For the use of the verb calāre in the Roman management of the calendar see etymology and note at calends.

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about intercalate

Time Traveler for intercalate

Time Traveler

The first known use of intercalate was in 1603

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about intercalate

Statistics for intercalate

Cite this Entry

“Intercalate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on intercalate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for intercalate

Nglish: Translation of intercalate for Spanish Speakers

Comments on intercalate

What made you want to look up intercalate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu jedi training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!