What does interpolation mean?

Here's a list of possible definitions for the term interpolation:

Princeton's WordNet

  1. interpolation, insertion(noun)

    a message (spoken or written) that is introduced or inserted

    "with the help of his friend's interpolations his story was eventually told"; "with many insertions in the margins"

  2. interpolation(noun)

    (mathematics) calculation of the value of a function between the values already known

  3. interjection, interposition, interpolation, interpellation(noun)

    the action of interjecting or interposing an action or remark that interrupts


  1. interpolation(Noun)

    An abrupt change in elements, with continuation of the first idea.

  2. interpolation(Noun)

    the process of estimating the value of a function at a point from its values at nearby points.

  3. interpolation(Noun)

    The process of including and processing externally-fetched data in a document or program; see interpolate.

  4. interpolation(Noun)

    That which is introduced or inserted, especially something foreign or spurious.

    Bentley wrote a letter upon the scriptural glosses in our present copies of Hesychius, which he considered interpolations from a later hand. uE000106101uE001 De Quincey.

  5. Origin: interpolatio an alteration made here and there: compare interpolation.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Interpolation(noun)

    the act of introducing or inserting anything, especially that which is spurious or foreign

  2. Interpolation(noun)

    that which is introduced or inserted, especially something foreign or spurious

  3. Interpolation(noun)

    the method or operation of finding from a few given terms of a series, as of numbers or observations, other intermediate terms in conformity with the law of the series

  4. Origin: [L. interpolatio an alteration made here and there: cf. F. interpolation.]


  1. Interpolation

    In the mathematical field of numerical analysis, interpolation is a method of constructing new data points within the range of a discrete set of known data points. In engineering and science, one often has a number of data points, obtained by sampling or experimentation, which represent the values of a function for a limited number of values of the independent variable. It is often required to interpolate the value of that function for an intermediate value of the independent variable. This may be achieved by curve fitting or regression analysis. A different problem which is closely related to interpolation is the approximation of a complicated function by a simple function. Suppose the formula for some given function is known, but too complex to evaluate efficiently. A few known data points from the original function can be used to create an interpolation based on a simpler function. Of course, when a simple function is used to estimate data points from the original, interpolation errors are usually present; however, depending on the problem domain and the interpolation method used, the gain in simplicity may be of greater value than the resultant loss in accuracy.

The Standard Electrical Dictionary

  1. Interpolation

    A process used in getting a closer approximation to the truth from two varying observations, as of a galvanometer. The process varies for different cases, but amounts to determining an average or deducing a proportional reading from the discrepant observed ones.


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of interpolation in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of interpolation in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

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