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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
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. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for extrapolate
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Jamison began to extrapolate from his observations out the control-room port, adding film-clips for authority.

    Operation: Outer Space William Fitzgerald Jenkins
  • Do you extrapolate your mastications, too, and get frightened of the stink you might get?

    Breaking Point James E. Gunn
  • Cochrane cocked an eye at Jamison, who could extrapolate at the drop of an equation.

    Operation: Outer Space William Fitzgerald Jenkins
  • They extrapolate a sequence beautifully—but they can be out-thought.

    Breaking Point James E. Gunn
  • He saw his shortcoming, but could not do anything to help it: he was unable to extrapolate ahead.

    Starman's Quest Robert Silverberg
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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extrapolate in Technology
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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