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intercalary Line breaks: inter|cal¦ary
Pronunciation: /ɪnˈtəːkəl(ə)ri/

Definition 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
More example sentences
  • 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.
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
3Of the nature of an insertion: elaborate intercalary notes
4 Botany (Of the meristem of a plant) located between its daughter cells, especially (in a grass) at or near the base of a leaf.
Example sentences
  • 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.


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

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