Definition of extrapolate
- extrapolate public sentiment on one issue from known public reaction on others
- extrapolates present trends to construct an image of the future
We can extrapolate the number of new students entering next year by looking at how many entered in previous years.
With such a small study it is impossible to extrapolate accurately.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'extrapolate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Scientists worry about the greenhouse effect because they have extrapolated the rate of carbon-dioxide buildup and predicted that its effect on the atmosphere will become increasingly severe. On the basis of their extrapolations, they have urged governments and businesses to limit factory and automobile emissions. Notice that it's acceptable to speak of extrapolating existing data (to produce new data), extrapolating from existing data (to produce new data), or extrapolating new data (from existing data)—in other words, it isn't easy to use this word wrong.
: to form an opinion or to make an estimate about something from known facts
What made you want to look up extrapolate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
subject to rapid or unexpected change
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