estimate

1 of 2

verb

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

transitive verb

1
a
: 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
2
3
archaic
a
: esteem
b
estimative adjective

estimate

2 of 2

noun

es·​ti·​mate ˈe-stə-mət How to pronounce estimate (audio)
1
a
: 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
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

Example Sentences

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
However, the timing of that lag is hard to estimate. Simon Moore, Forbes, 23 Jan. 2023 Combining those two features, archaeologists were able to estimate the ships range of no earlier than 1300 and no later than 1850. Taylor Nicioli, CNN, 12 Dec. 2022 The costs of such a monumental crisis are hard to estimate. Annalisa Merelli, Quartz, 2 Nov. 2022 How much of Google’s revenue comes from monetizing false and misleading content is difficult to estimate. Craig Silverman, ProPublica, 29 Oct. 2022 Once the infrastructure master plan is complete, Martin said West Hartford will be able to estimate and budget construction costs. Alison Cross, Hartford Courant, 24 Oct. 2022 Size, color and quality are often hard to estimate online. Nerdwallet, cleveland, 22 Oct. 2022 Travis Miller, spokesman for Universal Property and Casualty Insurance Company, said it’s still too early to estimate claims totals or losses. Ron Hurtibise, Sun Sentinel, 29 Sep. 2022 Although officials estimate that about 85,000 people have been housed because of these programs, the county's overall homeless population has continued to steadily climb over the past six years. Emily Mae Czachor, CBS News, 10 Jan. 2023
Noun
The cause of the fire was under investigation, and a damage estimate was not available. David Hernandez, San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 Jan. 2023 The most conservative estimate given in the trial of the amount of chicken litter produced by the defendants' operations was 354,000 tons a year. Doug Thompson, Arkansas Online, 20 Jan. 2023 As a result, many researchers believed that 2% estimate was an undercount. Byjoshua Sokol, science.org, 19 Jan. 2023 As for the actual demolition cost, the superintendent said the estimate is in the $4.5 million range, which the district has budgeted out of its permanent improvement fund. John Benson, cleveland, 11 Jan. 2023 The company’s estimate is higher than the $500 million to $700 million cost put on the fiasco by industry analysts. Dallas News, 6 Jan. 2023 Over the course of an entire year, a rough estimate of parents missing work might be in the range of 1.3 to 2.4 million working parents. Tim Fernholz, Quartz, 5 Jan. 2023 But the estimate of how many have access is likely an undercount, task forcemembers said. Erin Hooley, Chicago Tribune, 25 Dec. 2022 The median estimate of analysts, in that December survey, was for rates to average exactly 6% at the end of 2023, down 0.27 percentage points from today. Andrew Khouri, Los Angeles Times, 22 Dec. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

Latin aestimatus, past participle of aestimare to value, estimate

First Known Use

Verb

circa 1532, in the meaning defined at sense 3a

Noun

1552, in the meaning defined at sense 4

Time Traveler
The first known use of estimate was circa 1532

Dictionary Entries Near estimate

Cite this Entry

“Estimate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/estimate. Accessed 26 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition

estimate

1 of 2 verb
es·​ti·​mate ˈes-tə-ˌmāt How to pronounce estimate (audio)
estimated; estimating
1
: to judge the approximate value, size, or cost of on the basis of experience or observation rather than actual measurement
estimate the distance
estimate a painting job
2
: conclude sense 2, determine
estimated that the fire started in the kitchen
estimator
-ˌmāt-ər
noun

estimate

2 of 2 noun
es·​ti·​mate ˈes-tə-mət How to pronounce estimate (audio)
1
: the act of estimating
2
: an opinion or judgment of the nature, character, or quality of a thing
3
: a rough or approximate calculation
4
: a statement by a contractor of the probable cost for a job

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