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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce extrapolate (audio)

Dictionary definition of extrapolate

To forecast future values, trends, or outcomes by extending or projecting known data or information beyond its current range or scope.
"The analyst was able to extrapolate trends from the data."

Detailed meaning of extrapolate

When someone 'extrapolates,' they make educated guesses or inferences about what might happen in the future based on patterns, trends, or observations from the past or present. This term conveys the idea of using available data as a basis for extending one's understanding into uncharted territory, often assuming that current conditions or patterns will continue. 'Extrapolate' is frequently used in fields such as science, economics, and data analysis to make predictions or draw conclusions when precise future data is unavailable. It underscores the importance of careful analysis and consideration when making projections or estimations based on existing information.

Example sentences containing extrapolate

1. We can extrapolate the results from this small sample.
2. The scientists extrapolate data to make predictions.
3. I don't want to extrapolate without more information.
4. Analysts often extrapolate trends based on current metrics.
5. Can you extrapolate the potential outcome for us?
6. It's risky to extrapolate from just one event.

History and etymology of extrapolate

The verb 'extrapolate' has its etymological origins in Latin. It is formed from the Latin word 'extrapolare,' which combines 'extra' (beyond) and 'polare' (to polish or smooth). In its original Latin sense, 'extrapolare' referred to the process of smoothing or leveling something beyond its current boundaries. Over time, this term evolved to describe the act of extending or projecting known data or information beyond its current range or scope to forecast future values, trends, or outcomes. When we 'extrapolate' data, we are essentially extending it beyond its current points to make educated guesses or predictions about what may happen in the future based on existing trends or patterns. The etymology of 'extrapolate' reflects its historical association with the idea of extending or smoothing data beyond its present limits to gain insights into what lies ahead.

Quiz: Find the meaning of extrapolate

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Further usage examples of extrapolate

1. They'll extrapolate future needs based on today's demands.
2. We shouldn't always extrapolate expectations from past achievements.
3. If you extrapolate those figures, you'll see the potential profit.
4. It's not always accurate to extrapolate individual experiences to the entire population.
5. Before we make a decision, we need to extrapolate the consequences.
6. Critics argue that it's dangerous to extrapolate these findings.
7. You can extrapolate growth using this formula.
8. It's a common mistake to extrapolate without considering variables.
9. Do you think it's valid to extrapolate from this data set?
10. To understand the bigger picture, we must extrapolate.
11. To extrapolate from a single point is unwise.
12. If we extrapolate these numbers, we can estimate yearly costs.
13. I'm curious about how you'd extrapolate from such limited data.
14. Can we reliably extrapolate the results to a larger context?



infer, disregard, ignore, neglect


GRE 14 (Graduate Record Examination), Analytical and Interpretive, Prediction and Foresight, Forecasts and Predictions

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