Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To infer or estimate by extending or projecting known information.
  • transitive v. Mathematics To estimate (a value of a variable outside a known range) from values within a known range by assuming that the estimated value follows logically from the known values.
  • intransitive v. To engage in the process of extrapolating.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To infer by extending known information.
  • v. To estimate the value of a variable outside a known range from values within that range by assuming that the estimated value follows logically from the known ones

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • In mathematics and astronomy, to determine (a value or quantity) by carrying out an empirical formula beyond the limits of the data from which the formula has been deduced. The results are usually more or less doubtful. See interpolate.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. estimate the value of
  • v. draw from specific cases for more general cases
  • v. gain knowledge of (an area not known or experienced) by extrapolating

Etymologies

extra- + (inter)polate.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From extra + (inter)polate (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • "Counting people tells some interesting things. Especially since computers enable us to extrapolate things into the future. Take this, for example: If the population of the earth were to increase at the present rate indefinitely, by AD 3530 the total mass of human flesh and blood would equal the mass of the earth: and by AD 6826, the total mass of human flesh and blood would equal the mass of the known universe."
    - 'All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten', Robert Fulghum.

    February 28, 2008