Definition of extrapolate
1 : to infer (values of a variable in an unobserved interval) from values within an already observed interval
2a : to project, extend, or expand (known data or experience) into an area not known or experienced so as to arrive at a usually conjectural knowledge of the unknown area <extrapolates present trends to construct an image of the future>b : to predict by projecting past experience or known data <extrapolate public sentiment on one issue from known public reaction on others>
: to perform the act or process of extrapolating
extrapolationplay \ik-ˌstra-pə-ˈlā-shən\ noun
extrapolativeplay \ik-ˈstra-pə-ˌlā-tiv\ adjective
extrapolatorplay \ik-ˈstra-pə-ˌlā-tər\ noun
Examples of extrapolate in a sentence
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.
Did You Know?
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.
Origin and Etymology of extrapolate
Latin extra outside + English -polate (as in interpolate) — more at extra-
First Known Use: 1874
EXTRAPOLATE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of extrapolate for English Language Learners
: to form an opinion or to make an estimate about something from known facts
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