v. in·ter·po·lat·ed, in·ter·po·lat·ing, in·ter·po·lates
1. To insert or introduce between other elements or parts.
a. To insert (material) into a text.
b. To insert into a conversation. See Synonyms at introduce.
3. To change or falsify (a text) by introducing new or incorrect material.
a. To estimate a value of (a function or series) between two known values.
b. To create a continuous function that incorporates (a finite set of data), such as creating a curve that passes through a fixed set of points or a surface through a fixed set of curves.
5. To introduce estimated values of (pixel data) into a pixel array to improve the quality of an enlarged digital image.
To make insertions or additions.
[Latin interpolāre, interpolāt-, to touch up, refurbish, from interpolis, refurbished; see pel-5 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.