Definition of extrapolate in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Extend the application of (a method or conclusion, especially one based on statistics) to an unknown situation by assuming that existing trends will continue or similar methods will be applicable.

    ‘the results cannot be extrapolated to other patient groups’
    no object ‘it is always dangerous to extrapolate from a sample’
    • ‘Some studies in adults have shown that ibuprofen is more effective or as effective in pain relief compared with acetaminophen, but these results cannot be extrapolated to children.’
    • ‘It is not clear, however, how well these results may be extrapolated to pediatric patients, because of the marked differences in pharmacokinetics of nitrofurantoin in adults and children.’
    • ‘The book is of broader relevance than just the tea industry, however, and the problems identified and the methods suggested can certainly be extrapolated to other situations.’
    • ‘We strongly believe that this conclusion can be extrapolated to other conditions where domains are present in the film, even if the parameters originating them are somewhat different.’
    • ‘It can also be extrapolated to a marital situation.’
    • ‘The results of a retrospective analysis are specific to the observed variation in the vital rates, and can be extrapolated to other situations only with great care.’
    • ‘Thus, it cannot be assumed that results from secondary care can be extrapolated to primary care.’
    • ‘Although trials showing the benefits of these drugs have excluded patients above this age, evidence suggests that these data may reasonably be extrapolated to older patients.’
    • ‘These results may not be extrapolated to a normal menopausal population due to the presence of chemotherapeutic medication.’
    • ‘For, those women who did develop heart disease, it was assumed that the results of male-only studies could be extrapolated to them.’
    • ‘The study population was selected according to respiratory symptoms and, therefore, the results cannot be extrapolated to the general child population.’
    • ‘It's part of their job to extrapolate from current trends, anticipate future problems, and head them off at the pass.’
    • ‘The first is a study on the breakdown of partnerships in Sweden and Norway which, because of flaws in its sample group, can in no way be extrapolated to a condemnation of the stability of gay relationships.’
    • ‘Therefore, results cannot be extrapolated to pharmacy students nationwide or to student populations in other degree programs.’
    • ‘However, they caution that this model should not be extrapolated to asymptomatic patients in whom risk factors play a much greater predictive role.’
    • ‘This confidence cannot be extrapolated to other situations of much larger glucocorticoid exposures in the perinatal period.’
    • ‘Whether these results can be extrapolated to large radial scars detected by mammography is unresolved and requires further investigation.’
    • ‘For example, investigators should stress that conclusions drawn from experience in one group of patients should not be extrapolated to all other groups.’
    • ‘Granted, scientific analysis is necessary in any particular event, but it should not be made a fetish of and extrapolated to entirely different situations.’
    • ‘In addition, our subjects were those with severe alcohol problems and thus our results cannot be extrapolated to describe all alcoholic users who have high-risk sexual behaviour.’
    1. 1.1 Estimate or conclude (something) by extrapolating.
      ‘attempts to extrapolate likely human cancers from laboratory studies’
      • ‘During that time, I've seen numerous threat briefings that attempted to extrapolate possible terrorist strategies out of the most obscure bits of intelligence.’
      • ‘Using these three basic numbers - population, CO2 emissions, and GDP - I proceeded to extrapolate some figures.’
      • ‘Data about them, however, must be extrapolated from demographic information compiled by the Australian and New Zealander governments.’
      • ‘The 2004 survey researchers extrapolated figures from information from 248 local authorities in the UK.’
      • ‘I have yet to see a successful prediction about the physical world that was inferred or extrapolated from the content of any religious document.’
      • ‘The axon counts were extrapolated by using the area algorithm to estimate the total number of axons for each nerve.’
      • ‘Many others disagree, claiming that many of the characteristics of communities are unique and cannot be extrapolated from the species level.’
      • ‘The 98,000 figure is extrapolated from an excess of 44 deaths reported since the invasion.’
      • ‘Population is extrapolated using the revised UN estimates, which give a figure of 1, 272.2 million;’
      • ‘From the combination of the relative absorbances and relative fluorescence quantum efficiencies of the two substances, a relative quantum yield could be extrapolated.’
      • ‘Safe exposure is extrapolated from tests on rats so their relevance to humans is debatable.’
      • ‘If you look at previous attempts by actuaries to extrapolate trends, the forecasts have always undershot - and better lifestyles and medical advances have accelerated the improvement in life expectancy.’
      • ‘What has become increasingly important is extrapolating that imbedded value so it can go on to the balance sheets.’
      • ‘However, once a Markov model is fitted to this data, replacement frequencies characteristic for distantly related sequences can be extrapolated from the model.’
      • ‘Is it that the original statistic was an over-generalization, extrapolated from information that we can't find after the fact?’
      • ‘The computational model can extrapolate the morphogenetic movements of human organs such as the eye, heart, lung etc.’
      • ‘Using this relationship, we extrapolated the estimated time of divergence from adjusted measures of pairwise differences between Dendropoma species.’
      • ‘The evidence needed for sound policymaking should thus be much more comprehensive than attempts to extrapolate dubious principles from the findings of controlled trials.’
      • ‘The figures are extrapolated from forecasts in the Barker Report, which made recommendations into the number of new homes which needed to be built to bring Britain's house price inflation in line with that of Europe.’
      • ‘Most franchisors will not make earnings claims, but will provide information with which you could potentially extrapolate gross sales figures.’
      forecast, predict, estimate, calculate, gauge, reckon, expect
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Mathematics Extend (a graph, curve, or range of values) by inferring unknown values from trends in the known data.
      ‘a set of extrapolated values’
      • ‘The x-y plot results in a straight line that can be extrapolated back to the ordinate axis to give Fp (ot).’
      • ‘The final slope of all the complex curves extrapolate at the intercept to an average value of 1.5 0.5.’
      • ‘In concept, the models are similar to the GAM formulation of this paper, although the parametric trend curve is badly behaved when extrapolated beyond the limits of the time series.’
      • ‘This is done by extrapolating a graph of volume against temperature.’
      • ‘Turgid weight was estimated from the linear relationship between fresh weight and x in the positive turgor range, by extrapolating to x = 0.’


Late 19th century: from extra- ‘outside’ + a shortened form of interpolate.