Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Inserted in the calendar to make the calendar year correspond to the solar year. Used of a day or month.
  • adjective Having such a day or month inserted. Used of a year.
  • adjective Inserted between other elements or parts; interpolated.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • In anatomy, additional; supernumerary; inserted between other parts, as the cartilages on the dorsal side of the vertebral column in many elasmobranchs.
  • In chronology, inserted in the calendar out of regular order, as an extra day or month; having an additional day or month, as one of a cycle of years.
  • Hence Inserted or coming between others; introduced or existing interstitially: as, intercalary beds in geology.
  • In biology, intermediate in character between two types, yet not representing the actual genetic passage from one form to the other; interposed or intercalated, yet not biologically transitional.
  • In medicine, the days intervening between the critical days or crises of a disease.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective (Chron.) Inserted or introduced among others in the calendar; ; -- now applied particularly to the odd day (Feb. 29) inserted in the calendar of leap year. See Bissextile, n.
  • adjective Introduced or inserted among others; additional; supernumerary.
  • adjective (Med.) one on which no paroxysm of an intermittent disease occurs.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective of a day: extra day or days inserted into a calendar
  • adjective of a month: extra month inserted into a calendar. The Hebrew calendar has such a month.
  • adjective botany of a meristem: situated between zones of permanent tissue, thus a shoot growing at the base of a leaf, in comparison with apical growth at the tip of a root or plant.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective having a day or month inserted to make the calendar year correspond to the solar year:

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Latin intercalārius, intercalāris, from intercalāre, to intercalate; see intercalate.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin intercalārius, from intercalāris, from intercalō, from inter ("among") + calō ("call out, proclaim").

Examples

  • In order to remedy this, the Chinese intercalated a month once in about thirty-three moons, and called the intercalary month by the same name as the one preceding it, both with regard to the common numbers 1-12, and with regard to the two endless cycles of twelve signs and sixty signs, by which moons are calculated for ever, in the past and in the future.

    Ancient China Simplified

  • To make the solar year and the civil or calendar year coincide as nearly as might be, Numa ordered that a special or "intercalary" month should be inserted every second year between February 23rd and 24th.

    More Science From an Easy Chair

  • There are notes on the scroll in French which may suggest that the text relates to the Mandaean holiday of Paruanaiia, celebrated during the 5 intercalary days that allow the Mandaean calendar to have months of even length 30 days but an essentially solar calendar of 365 days.

    Archive 2009-09-01

  • There are notes on the scroll in French which may suggest that the text relates to the Mandaean holiday of Paruanaiia, celebrated during the 5 intercalary days that allow the Mandaean calendar to have months of even length 30 days but an essentially solar calendar of 365 days.

    Misidentified Mandaic Manuscript

  • The goddess Isis was the first daughter of Geb, god of the Earth, and Nut, the goddess of the Overarching Sky, and was born on the fourth intercalary day.

    Hancock (2008)

  • One way to revive the date is to associate it with the drinking of a truly fine intercalary cocktail -- the Leap Year, a drink invented by the great American barman Harry Craddock, who rode out Prohibition by plying his trade at London's Savoy Hotel.

    How to toast the leap year

  • One way to revive the date is to associate it with the drinking of a truly fine intercalary cocktail -- the Leap Year, a drink invented by the great American barman Harry Craddock, who rode out Prohibition by plying his trade at London's Savoy Hotel.

    The Bissextile Beverage

  • Because of this phenomenon, intercalary months (zla-bzhol, leap months) are periodically added in the Buddhist and Hindu calendars to correlate lunar and solar new years.

    The Nature of Time as a Temporal Interval

  • Something, however, was arranged in those intercalary moments between the raising of the glasses.

    Castle Richmond

  • But because he started the whole thing it is seemly to give his exit an intercalary page of attention.

    The Food of the Gods and how it came to Earth

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