es·​ti·​mate | \ ˈe-stə-ˌmāt How to pronounce estimate (audio) \
estimated; estimating

Essential Meaning of estimate

: to give or form a general idea about the value, size, or cost of (something) : to make an estimate of (something) They estimated the distance at/as about three miles. We need to estimate how much paint we'll need for the job. See More ExamplesThe cost of the project has been estimated at/as about 10 million dollars. He estimates that current oil reserves are 20 percent lower than they were a year ago. Damage from the hurricane is estimated (to be) in the billions of dollars.Hide

Full Definition of estimate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to judge tentatively or approximately the value, worth, or significance of
b : to determine roughly the size, extent, or nature of
c : to produce a statement of the approximate cost of
3 archaic
a : esteem
b : appraise


es·​ti·​mate | \ ˈe-stə-mət How to pronounce estimate (audio) \

Definition of estimate (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : a rough or approximate calculation
b : a numerical value obtained from a statistical sample and assigned to a population parameter
2 : a statement of the cost of work to be done
3 : an opinion or judgment of the nature, character, or quality of a person or thing had a high estimate of his abilities
4 : the act of appraising or valuing : calculation

Other Words from estimate


estimative \ ˈe-​stə-​ˌmā-​tiv How to pronounce estimate (audio) \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for estimate


estimate, appraise, evaluate, value, rate, assess mean to judge something with respect to its worth or significance. estimate implies a judgment, considered or casual, that precedes or takes the place of actual measuring or counting or testing out. estimated the crowd at two hundred appraise commonly implies the fixing by an expert of the monetary worth of a thing, but it may be used of any critical judgment. having their house appraised evaluate suggests an attempt to determine relative or intrinsic worth in terms other than monetary. evaluate a student's work value equals appraise but without implying expertness of judgment. a watercolor valued by the donor at $500 rate adds to estimate the notion of placing a thing according to a scale of values. a highly rated restaurant assess implies a critical appraisal for the purpose of understanding or interpreting, or as a guide in taking action. officials are trying to assess the damage

Examples of estimate in a Sentence

Verb They estimated the distance at about three miles. We need to estimate how much paint we'll need for the job. The cost of the project has been estimated at about 10 million dollars. He estimates that current oil reserves are 20 percent lower than they were a year ago. Noun According to government estimates, current oil reserves are 10 percent lower than they were a year ago. One conservative estimate is that he stole five million dollars. We solicited several estimates for the project. The contractor's estimate for the job seemed high. The company's products are, by general estimate, poorly made.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Analysts estimate that profits from companies in the S&P 500 rose 22% in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, according to FactSet. Karen Langley, WSJ, 9 Jan. 2022 Aid groups estimate that nearly 23 million Afghans, out of a total population of 39 million, already do not have enough to eat. Washington Post, 7 Jan. 2022 Memorial researchers estimate that about a million people were executed for alleged crimes against the state, out of some eleven million who were persecuted. Masha Gessen, The New Yorker, 6 Jan. 2022 However, twins with different birthdays are rare, and some estimate the chance of twins being born in different years as 1 in 2 million, according to a press release by Natividad. Michelle Shen, USA TODAY, 4 Jan. 2022 The fire has destroyed nearly 1,000 homes, authorities estimate. Amir Vera And Steve Almasy, CNN, 3 Jan. 2022 Biologists John Schoen and Dave Albert estimate that about half of the Tongass's biggest old-growth stands have been clear-cut since the start of industrial forestry in the 1950s. Arkansas Online, 2 Jan. 2022 Some researchers estimate that about 80% of the global populace lives in light-polluted areas. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 2 Jan. 2022 Researchers at Columbia University estimate that the payments kept 3.8 million children out of poverty in November, a nearly 30 percent reduction in the child poverty rate. Ben Casselman, New York Times, 2 Jan. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Last fall, independent analysts projected a $31-billion state budget surplus, an estimate that will be updated in Newsom’s spending plan next week. John Myers, Los Angeles Times, 8 Jan. 2022 But an estimate based on the size of the stake going to Reliance suggests a valuation of around $775 million—way more than $300 million the company was at last year. Niharika Sharma, Quartz, 7 Jan. 2022 The big question is cost, but LG Display refrained from providing an estimate. Michael Kan, PCMAG, 4 Jan. 2022 An early estimate put the amount of material that slid down at about 150 cubic yards, which is blocking the shoulder, northbound lane and spilling into the southbound lane, according to Courtney Knox Busch, a City of Salem spokesperson. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 28 Dec. 2021 But that's just an estimate, says Dr. Goldman, who adds that sometimes cold symptoms can show up just 10 to 12 hours after exposure. Maggie O'neill,, 27 Dec. 2021 An April Forbes estimate found if Trump had sold all his assets in January 2017, paid full capital gains taxes on the sales and put the money in a conflict-free fund tracking the S&P 500, his net worth would be $1.6 billion higher. Nicholas Reimann, Forbes, 27 Dec. 2021 The spokesman, Aaron Sadler, did not respond to a question asking how much staff time has been spent on these cases or if there is an estimate on the cost of involvement. James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, 23 Dec. 2021 The letter cites an estimate published by the industry group Airlines for America, which predicts the FAA restrictions will disrupt 345,000 passenger flights, 32 million passengers and 5,400 cargo flights. Brian Fung, CNN, 22 Dec. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'estimate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of estimate


circa 1532, in the meaning defined at sense 3a


1552, in the meaning defined at sense 4

History and Etymology for estimate


Latin aestimatus, past participle of aestimare to value, estimate

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Time Traveler for estimate

Time Traveler

The first known use of estimate was circa 1532

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Dictionary Entries Near estimate



estimated cost

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Statistics for estimate

Last Updated

13 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Estimate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for estimate


es·​ti·​mate | \ ˈe-stə-ˌmāt How to pronounce estimate (audio) \
estimated; estimating

Kids Definition of estimate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to give or form a general idea of (as the value, size, or cost of something)


es·​ti·​mate | \ ˈe-stə-mət How to pronounce estimate (audio) \

Kids Definition of estimate (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an opinion or judgment especially of the value or quality of something In my estimate, the product is poorly made.
2 : an approximation of the size or cost of something

More from Merriam-Webster on estimate

Nglish: Translation of estimate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of estimate for Arabic Speakers


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