Meaning of interpolate in English:


Pronunciation /ɪnˈtəːpəleɪt/

See synonyms for interpolate

Translate interpolate into Spanish


[with object]
  • 1Insert (something of a different nature) into something else.

    ‘illustrations were interpolated in the text’
    • ‘The viewer feels he has seen enough variety to allow the imagination to interpolate all potential additional variations.’
    • ‘Looks to me like your fantastic mother of a brain is interpolating multimodal evidence as to the physical air-blockage position in realtime.’
    • ‘By interpolating between imbalances differing by a pawn, it was possible to express the results in terms of fractions of a pawn.’
    • ‘The easiest method is to conceal the changes in the publishing process - i.e., by allowing the editor to interpolate freely.’
    • ‘He kept interpolating his speech with a number of anecdotes, which made the interaction lively.’
    • ‘Medieval theologians interpolated this passage into the canon law doctrine ‘Scientia Donum Dei Est, Unde Vendi Non Potest’ (Knowledge is a gift from God, consequently it cannot be sold).’
    • ‘The action of the bakery is interpolated with scenes of domestic discord: the declining relationship between Di and her husband, conducted over ritualistically awkward meals.’
    • ‘Captain Britain wasn't an ersatz copy of an American hero any more; the authors interpolated him into a more densely-realised realm of Druidic myths.’
    • ‘He didn't cut the score, or interpolate pop songs into it; it really was ‘Bohème.’’
    • ‘Sometimes the cause of clear, logical sequence is best served - paradoxically - by interpolating asides, a way of having your cake and eating it too.’
    • ‘This is achieved by cutting and interpolating shots to make the sequence (montage).’
    • ‘She interpolates historical footage of Greek immigrants coming to Australia, suggesting the hold the past - however distant - continues to have on a schizoid community.’
    • ‘Actual film footage is interpolated into the standard narrative, along with ‘re-created’ film footage made to look real, not to mention ‘simulated’ home movies to make us see what's happening as if by accident.’
    • ‘The remaining 20 percent of the delivery times linearly were interpolated between 10 and 20 minutes, with the upper bound set at 20 minutes.’
    • ‘To date, this is the best estimate for the duration of the Emsian stage because it was interpolated between two methodically consistent and biostratigraphically well-bracketed isotopic ages.’
    • ‘This interpolates between rotation values, and is suitable for routing into a Transform node's set rotation field.’
    • ‘But as he describes the exhibition, interpolating incidents from Hamilton's career, it's hard to avoid the conclusion that the curators actually got it right.’
    • ‘Valuable commentaries are interpolated into the main text, using a slightly smaller typeface which took me a little time to adjust to (though vastly preferable to a mass of italic print).’
    • ‘In the score's fourth section, the composer interpolates a text from a poem called ‘The Dream,’ written by the 19th century Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko.’
    • ‘We had no TV, so we had no idea what a Sobers sweep or a Hall bouncer actually looked like; we were left to interpolate between newspaper stills and glossies from cricket books.’
    insert, interpose, introduce, enter, add, incorporate, inset, implant, build, put
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Insert (words) in a book or other text, especially in order to give a false impression as to its date.
      ‘It would involve interpolating the word ‘only’ either before or after the words ‘taken in respect of the guarantee’.’
      • ‘In the case of Mrs Burdett, this seems unlikely: the extract fits neatly between other entries, written in the same handwriting, and so there is no evidence that it has been interpolated at a later date.’
      • ‘In my previous post on ‘under God,’ I missed the real meaning of the expression, as Lincoln and others used it - and so, by a wide mark, did the people who interpolated it in the Pledge.’
      • ‘In the later collage poetry this materialism interpolates political and economic facts with society verbiage, relating to Boston's high society and the heiresses tracked by gossip columnists.’
      • ‘Questions are profusely interpolated into the authorial commentary and characters interrogate themselves and others constantly.’
      • ‘Her effort was not merely to interpolate folk sayings in her novels; it was to write fiction according to the aesthetic principles that undergirded oral culture.’
      • ‘Horrell finds the hypothesis that these verses were interpolated as plausible and concludes that they were likely a marginal note from church practice incorporated into the text at an early stage of transmission.’
      • ‘Several verses of the work song ‘John Henry’ ‘show internal evidence of being interpolated from English ballads’.’
    2. 1.2Alter or enlarge (a text) by insertion of new material.
      ‘If I decrease the resolution to anything other than the native resolution, images and text are interpolated.’
      • ‘To make it so would be to interpolate into the text of the Refugee Convention definition of refugee an additional requirement of international condemnation.’
      • ‘Tear a page from a book and you may be able to interpolate.’
      • ‘It is possible that later Christians not only interpolated this statement, but also removed some negative comments about Jesus of which they disapproved.’
    3. 1.3Mathematics Insert (an intermediate value or term) into a series by estimating or calculating it from surrounding known values.
      ‘He would interpolate values between his data points and he did this using a cubic interpolation formula.’
      • ‘For the Hamiltonian matrix elements, spline-fitted functions of time were used to interpolate values from the trajectory calculations.’
      • ‘This means that instead of having to interpolate the values of neighbouring pixels the X3 sensor ‘sees’ full colour at individual pixel locations.’
      • ‘The graph tracer did not always allow the proper coordinates to be read directly; in those cases, values were interpolated on the basis of the coordinates that could be read.’
      • ‘If needed, the missing values may be interpolated by averaging the exchangeability-as-source of the source amino acid, and the exchangeability-as-destination of the destination amino acid.’
  • 2Interject (a remark) in a conversation.

    with direct speech ‘‘I dare say,’ interpolated her employer’
    • ‘Additionally, he tends to repeat these statements from week to week, waiting for the pause in the conversation so he can interpolate them.’
    • ‘I should interpolate that his friends generally read to him to save his eyes.’
    • ‘I pause to interpolate, the witness answers on the basis that it could have been.’
    • ‘If I could just interpolate there, when one sees the definition of act in the Northern Territory Code, the way in which it is expressed is: in relation to an accused person, means the deed alleged to have been done by him…’


Early 17th century from Latin interpolat- ‘refurbished, altered’, from the verb interpolare, from inter- ‘between’ + -polare (related to polire ‘to polish’).