Meaning of intercalary in English:



  • 1(of a day or a month) inserted in the calendar to harmonize it with the solar year, e.g. 29 February in leap years.

    ‘eighteen months of twenty days each and five intercalary days’
    • ‘In the old calendar, an intercalary month of 22 or 23 days called Mercedonius was inserted after the Festival of Terminalia in every other year or as needed.’
    • ‘He added two extra intercalary months apart from the one regular intercalary month to the year 46 BC.’
    • ‘In ancient Egypt, for civil purposes, a solar calendar of 365 days to the year was used in which there were 12 months of 30 days and 5 intercalary days.’
    • ‘The intercalary month by which the Arabs adjusted the lunar months to the solar year is abolished, severing the connection between the religious rituals and the seasons.’
    • ‘Chinese mythology holds that disasters always strike in intercalary Augusts and Cheng was aware of the power of this superstition when he wrote his book.’
    1. 1.1Of the nature of an insertion.
      • ‘elaborate intercalary notes’
  • 2(of an academic year or period) additional to the standard course and taken at a different institution.

    • ‘the intercalary year is taken between the second and final years’
  • 3Botany
    (of the meristem of a plant) located between its daughter cells, especially (in a grass) at or near the base of a leaf.

    ‘In these stems and leaves with intercalary meristems, the upward transpiration stream clearly bypassed most of the enlarging cells.’
    • ‘Cell division occurs mainly at the intercalary meristem at the base of the internode, but also throughout the internode at early stages of internode development.’
    • ‘Leaves are formed from an intercalary meristem which is positioned within the leaf sheaths of subtending leaves.’
    • ‘However, the intercalary meristem is considerably longer when considering the leaf extension zone.’
    • ‘The second intercalary meristem gives rise to the internode.’



/ɪnˈtəːkəl(ə)ri/ /ˌɪntəˈkal(ə)ri/


Early 17th century from Latin intercalarius, from intercalare (see intercalate).