Definition of intercalate in English:

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Pronunciation: /inˈtərkəˌlāt/


[with object]
1Interpolate (an intercalary period) in a calendar.
Example sentences
  • To keep the lunar calendar synchronized with the solar year, an extra month was intercalated in summer as necessary, in so-called ‘embolismic’ years.
  • An extra month is intercalated every three years, just before the month of Nisan.
2 (usually be intercalated) Insert (something) between layers in a crystal lattice, geological formation, or other structure.
Example sentences
  • These four layers are intercalated by thick silty to sandy sequences.
  • Brecciated ironstone is derived from the disruption of banded ironstone with which it is intercalated.
  • The limestones are intercalated with thin shaly interlayers.



Pronunciation: /inˌtərkəˈlāSH(ə)n/
Example sentences
  • Near the base of the succession there are local intercalations of thin-bedded pink micritic limestone, up to 20 cm thick.
  • Most of the unit is composed of intercalations of differently coloured, pervasively foliated, purplish red or bluish grey varicoloured calcareous shales.
  • The sediments form both relatively thick formations and thin intercalations between basalts.


Early 17th century: from Latin intercalat- 'proclaimed as inserted in the calendar', from the verb intercalare, from inter- 'between' + calare 'proclaim solemnly'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: in·ter·ca·late

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