One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Interpolate (an intercalary period) in a calendar.
- ‘An extra month is intercalated every three years, just before the month of Nisan.’
- ‘To keep the lunar calendar synchronized with the solar year, an extra month was intercalated in summer as necessary, in so-called ‘embolismic’ years.’
2usually be intercalatedInsert (something) between layers in a crystal lattice, geological formation, or other structure.
- ‘The limestones are intercalated with thin shaly interlayers.’
- ‘Brecciated ironstone is derived from the disruption of banded ironstone with which it is intercalated.’
- ‘Some lenticular siltstone is intercalated with fine sandstone laminae.’
- ‘In both areas, the volcanic rocks are intercalated with sedimentary units and the onset of basin development is marked by deposition of elastic sediments.’
- ‘These four layers are intercalated by thick silty to sandy sequences.’
Early 17th century: from Latin intercalat- ‘proclaimed as inserted in the calendar’, from the verb intercalare, from inter- ‘between’ + calare ‘proclaim solemnly’.
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