• synonyms


[ik-strap-uh-ley-shuh n]
See more synonyms for extrapolation on Thesaurus.com
  1. an act or instance of inferring an unknown from something that is known.
  2. Statistics, Mathematics. the act or process of estimating the value of a variable or function outside the tabulated or observed range.
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Origin of extrapolation

First recorded in 1870–75; extrapolat(e) + -(t)ion
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for extrapolation

calculation, estimate, estimation, forecast, reckoning, prognostication, guess, computation, extrapolation

Examples from the Web for extrapolation

Historical Examples of extrapolation

  • An extrapolation from the fact that there was vegetation below.

    Operation: Outer Space

    William Fitzgerald Jenkins

  • Abolish, now, one of the percipients, and the interpolation changes into ‘extrapolation.’

  • You claim that you actually guessed where that ship was going to be, but you followed the computer's extrapolation instead?

    But, I Don't Think

    Gordon Randall Garrett

  • The last three values are those obtained by extrapolation with platinum-rhodium and platinum-iridium couples.

  • Abolish, now, one of the percipients, and the interpolation changes into 'extrapolation.'

Word Origin and History for extrapolation


by 1867, from extra- + back half of interpolation; original sense was "insert intermediate terms in a mathematical series." Transferred sense of "drawing a conclusion about the future based on present tendencies" is from 1889. Cf. extrapolate.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

extrapolation in Culture



A mathematical procedure designed to enable one to estimate unknown values of a parameter from known values. A common method of extrapolation is to look at data on a curve, then extend the curve into regions for which there is no data. Extrapolation is often used to predict the future.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.