interpolation

noun in·ter·po·la·tion \ in-ˌtər-pə-ˈlā-shən \

Definition of interpolation

plural interpolations
1 a : an act of interpolating something or the state of being interpolated : the introduction or insertion of something spurious or foreign
  • … versions disfigured by the frequent and substantial interpolation of freely invented matter …
  • —Bernard Knox
b : something that is introduced or inserted : an insertion or addition
  • How can such interpolations be identified, and what literary processes led to these additions? —Jan Nattier
2 : the process of calculating an approximate value based on values that are already known
  • The age of *tephras|tephra|} that were not directly dated was estimated by linear interpolation from the calibrated date.
  • —Richard J. Payne and Jeffrey J. Blackford

First Known Use of interpolation

1612

in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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