Summary: A new nonlinear conjugate gradient method and an associated implementation, based on an inexact line search, are proposed and analyzed. With exact line search, our method reduces to a nonlinear version of the Hestenes–Stiefel conjugate gradient scheme. For any (inexact) line search, our scheme satisfies the descent condition

${\mathbf{g}}_{k}^{T}{\mathbf{d}}_{k}\le -\frac{7}{8}{\parallel {\mathbf{g}}_{k}\parallel}^{2}$. Moreover, a global convergence result is established when the line search fulfills the Wolfe conditions. A new line search scheme is developed that is efficient and highly accurate. Efficiency is achieved by exploiting properties of linear interpolants in a neighborhood of a local minimizer. High accuracy is achieved by using a convergence criterion, which we call the “approximate Wolfe” conditions, obtained by replacing the sufficient decrease criterion in the Wolfe conditions with an approximation that can be evaluated with greater precision in a neighborhood of a local minimum than the usual sufficient decrease criterion. Numerical comparisons are given with both L-BFGS and conjugate gradient methods using the unconstrained optimization problems in the CUTE library.