in·​ter·​po·​late | \ in-ˈtər-pə-ˌlāt How to pronounce interpolate (audio) \
interpolated; interpolating

Definition of interpolate

transitive verb

1a : to alter or corrupt (something, such as a text) by inserting new or foreign matter
b : to insert (words) into a text or into a conversation
2 : to insert between other things or parts : intercalate
3 : to estimate values of (data or a function) between two known values

intransitive verb

: to make insertions (as of estimated values)

Other Words from interpolate

interpolative \ in-​ˈtər-​pə-​ˌlā-​tiv How to pronounce interpolate (audio) \ adjective
interpolator \ in-​ˈtər-​pə-​ˌlā-​tər How to pronounce interpolate (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for interpolate

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?

Interpolate comes from Latin interpolare, a verb with various meanings, among them "to refurbish," "to alter," and "to falsify." (The polare part comes from polire, meaning "to polish.")  Interpolate entered English in the 17th century and was applied early on to the alteration (and in many cases corruption) of texts by insertion of additional material. Modern use of interpolate still suggests the insertion of something extraneous or spurious, as in "she interpolated her own commentary into the report."

Examples of interpolate in a Sentence

He smoothly interpolates fragments from other songs into his own. He interpolated a very critical comment in the discussion.
Recent Examples on the Web And so a line can interpolate through two points but not three. Jordana Cepelewicz, Quanta Magazine, 25 Aug. 2022 Fiction offers the unique chance to interpolate old themes in new metaphors, reinvigorating crucial conversations bogged down by cliché. Judy Berman, Time, 11 Mar. 2022 Balfe gushes, referencing the flashbacks to 1960s Edinburgh and Boston that interpolate the show's second season and beyond. Taylore Glynn, Allure, 5 Mar. 2022 The Economist’s team (also stuck with the spurious 4636 datapoint) used a Machine Learning model to try to interpolate the missing data. George Calhoun, Forbes, 25 Jan. 2022 One way to get out of the jam -- just interpolate right away! Anthony Cougar Miccio, Billboard, 28 Oct. 2021 But part of Sony's reputation is also due to its fantastic processing algorithms, which can interpolate frames with fewer artifacts than competing brands. Whitson Gordon, Wired, 6 Apr. 2021 The new track interpolates part of Lamar’s anthemic 2015 song, which was co-produced by Pharrell and won two Grammy Awards. Mesfin Fekadu, USA TODAY, 25 Apr. 2020 Capable of scanning documents at 600 dpi (optical) or 1200 dpi (interpolated), this inexpensive scanner can still capture sharp documents at 8 pages per minute. Popular Science, 9 Apr. 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'interpolate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of interpolate

1612, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for interpolate

Latin interpolatus, past participle of interpolare to refurbish, alter, interpolate, from inter- + -polare (from polire to polish)

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The first known use of interpolate was in 1612

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Last Updated

7 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Interpolate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Sep. 2022.

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Nglish: Translation of interpolate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of interpolate for Arabic Speakers


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