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[ik-strap-uh-leyt] /ɪkˈstræp əˌleɪt/
verb (used with object), extrapolated, extrapolating.
to infer (an unknown) from something that is known; conjecture.
Statistics. to estimate (the value of a variable) outside the tabulated or observed range.
Mathematics. to estimate (a function that is known over a range of values of its independent variable) to values outside the known range.
verb (used without object), extrapolated, extrapolating.
to perform extrapolation.
Origin of extrapolate
First recorded in 1825-35; extra- + (inter)polate
Related forms
extrapolation, noun
extrapolative, extrapolatory
[ik-strap-uh-luh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ɪkˈstræp ə ləˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/ (Show IPA),
extrapolator, noun
overextrapolation, noun
Can be confused Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for extrapolate
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They extrapolate a sequence beautifully—but they can be out-thought.

    Breaking Point

    James E. Gunn
  • Do you extrapolate your mastications, too, and get frightened of the stink you might get?

    Breaking Point

    James E. Gunn
  • "Jamison will extrapolate from there," Cochrane assured him.

    Operation: Outer Space

    William Fitzgerald Jenkins
  • The scientists had worked late, trying to extrapolate their data into some kind of prediction.

    The Flaming Mountain Harold Leland Goodwin
  • Jamison began to extrapolate from his observations out the control-room port, adding film-clips for authority.

    Operation: Outer Space

    William Fitzgerald Jenkins
British Dictionary definitions for extrapolate


(maths) to estimate (a value of a function or measurement) beyond the values already known, by the extension of a curve Compare interpolate (sense 4)
to infer (something not known) by using but not strictly deducing from the known facts
Derived Forms
extrapolation, noun
extrapolative, extrapolatory, adjective
extrapolator, noun
Word Origin
C19: extra- + -polate, as in interpolate
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for extrapolate

1874, a back-formation from extrapolation by analogy of interpolate. Said in early references to be an expression of Sir George Airy (1801-1892), English mathematician and astronomer. Related: Extrapolated; extrapolating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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extrapolate in Science
To estimate the value of a quantity that falls outside the range in which its values are known.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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