A phrase increasingly used on cable news when the words "if" and "when" would be more concise without sacrificing accuracy. The reason why it's used this way is because it sounds less abrasive. A less abrasive-sounding phrase is helpful for manipulating you. Most of the time, in ordinary conversation, you never have to use "to the extent" unless you are trying to soften the impact of what you are about to say. If you hear the phrase "to the extent" in ordinary conversation, pay attention because someone may be manipulating you (or, alternatively, trying not to hurt your feelings too much).

Used correctly, it provides implied information regard the limit or scope of something.
You may not have paid the right amount to the extent your payment exceeded $10.

-->If you paid more than $10, you paid too much.

To the extent lawmakers pass bills to make corruption easier, voters should be concerned.
-->When lawmakers pass bills to make corruption easier, voters should be concerned.

Correct usage:
You may be required to pay taxes to the extent of your debt forgiveness.
This sentence could be reconstructed as: If you had your debt forgiven, you may be required to pay taxes. But using "to the extent" tells us the scope and limit: the more debt forgiven, the more taxes you will pay (but only up to a certain point). So by using "if" in this context, you miss out on some but not all of the meaning.
by cropatop March 31, 2021
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extent meanz meanz ~ any thing which reaches high~ any thing to its peak.. enjoy your life to its extent you never know whats gonna happpen next.
Extent meanz Peak
by waleed shah September 13, 2008
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To what extent are things the result of the genes we possess?
by Lori. November 14, 2010
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something teens wear in their hair... Steven Tyler (singer of Aerosmith) came up with it... when he wore it back in the 70s... but the trend didnt come out until this year 2011:)
I wanna get a feather extentions mommy:)
by kaykay15 July 15, 2011
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Let me get a Extented shot with oj
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The act of prolonging the time it takes to empty your bladder through muscle contraction. Usually because one wants to seem to be a "long pisser," as it is more manly.
Adam - "Dude, what's taking so long?"

Tyler - "I've got my Stream Time Extent on, man."
by Gruder July 30, 2010
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