ex·​cerpt | \ ˈek-ˌsərpt How to pronounce excerpt (audio) , ˈeg-ˌzərpt How to pronounce excerpt (audio) \

Definition of excerpt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a passage (as from a book or musical composition) selected, performed, or copied : extract


ex·​cerpt | \ ek-ˈsərpt How to pronounce excerpt (audio) , eg-ˈzərpt How to pronounce excerpt (audio) , ˈek-ˌsərpt How to pronounce excerpt (audio) , ˈeg-ˌzərpt How to pronounce excerpt (audio) \
excerpted; excerpting; excerpts

Definition of excerpt (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to select (a passage) for quoting : extract
2 : to take or publish extracts from (something, such as a book)

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Other Words from excerpt


excerptor or excerpter noun
excerption \ ek-​ˈsərp-​shən How to pronounce excerpt (audio) , eg-​ˈzərp-​ \ noun

Synonyms for excerpt

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of excerpt in a Sentence

Noun Among the excerpts and Twitter feeds and author interviews … there was the actor Will Smith praising The Alchemist as one of his favorite books. — Gregory Cowles, New York Times Book Review, 18 Oct. 2009 When his [Thomas Jefferson's] wife Martha died in 1782, he wrapped a lock of her hair with a scrap of paper containing an excerpt from the couple's favorite novel, Laurence Sterne's comic masterpiece, Tristram Shandy, and stashed the token in his desk. — Walter Kim, Time, 5 July 2004 The exemplary figure here is Norman Mailer, whose 1959 Advertisements for Myself is the height of writerly chutzpah. The book, comprising excerpts from his journalism and fiction, descriptions of the agonies he went through to produce them and obsessive reviews of his reviewers, is so shameless it's admirable. — Judith Shulevitz, New York Times Book Review, 17 June 2001 … I also keep a pad by the side of my bed for writing down great thoughts at night without having to turn on the light. In the morning, these great thoughts sound like excerpts from the Dead Sea Scrolls. — Bill Cosby, Time Flies, (1987) 1988 She read an excerpt from the play. I've read only excerpts of Moby-Dick, never the whole book. Verb The fiction that the magazine does publish is too often excerpted from novels or imminently forthcoming collections, making the magazine seem more a flack for publishers than a site of editorial strength and vision. — Vince Passaro, Harper's, August 1999 How quickly does the Net move? Last Friday journalist Michael Colton posted an elaborate Web parody of the forthcoming magazine Talk, which is owned by Miramax and helmed by former New Yorker editor Tina Brown. Within hours, the site's URL had ricocheted about in countless e-mails, and the Drudge Report had excerpted the text. Newsweek, 26 July 1999
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun For today’s Random Walk, an excerpt from Romer’s 1990 paper: Growth in this model is driven by technological change that arises from intentional investment decisions made by profit-maximizing agents. Daniel Tenreiro, National Review, "What Are Economists Good For?," 23 Feb. 2021 StartUp Health, though, has promoted Krein's cancer research facility tours with Joe Biden, an Oval Office meeting with former President Barack Obama, even an excerpt from Joe Biden's memoir. Naomi Lim, Washington Examiner, "Family tradition: Republicans lack ways to check Biden family access-peddling," 16 Feb. 2021 The company's blog even republished an excerpt from Biden's memoir. Lucien Bruggeman, ABC News, "As Biden’s son-in-law invests in COVID-19 response, questions of family and ethics could resurface," 9 Feb. 2021 The tension between Los Angeles rivals was heightened Wednesday when an excerpt from a book by Lakers forward Jared Dudley made the rounds on social media. Matt Eppers, USA TODAY, "Clippers' Paul George brushes off criticism from Lakers' Jared Dudley: 'God bless him'," 4 Feb. 2021 During the hearing, prosecutors played an excerpt of the Dec. 29 call at the heart of the criminal complaint, left on a voicemail for a U.S. representative from New Jersey. Jason Meisner, chicagotribune.com, "Suburban man accused of threatening violence at Biden inauguration ordered to remain in custody," 21 Jan. 2021 Please enjoy the excerpt from one of the most important speeches in history. Annie Lane, oregonlive, "Dear Annie: Annie shares excerpt from King’s ‘I have a dream’ speech," 19 Jan. 2021 The principal dancer Tiler Peck gave a backstage tour, told the story of the ballet and performed an excerpt. Robin Pogrebin, New York Times, "With No Tickets to Sell, Arts Groups Appeal to Donors to Survive," 28 Dec. 2020 An excerpt of Breed’s response as captured by SFGATE is included below. Essence, "California Gov. Ignores Calls To Appoint A Black Woman To Replace VP Elect Kamala Harris," 23 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb This analysis was excerpted from the June 1 edition of CNN's Meanwhile in America, the daily email about US politics for global readers. Stephen Collinson, CNN, "Pandemic, meet protest," 1 June 2020 Below is the four-part Heritage plan for reopening some businesses, excerpted from the report: Businesses in counties with low incidences should be allowed to reopen. Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner, "Trump plan for targeted tests in reopening economy gets Heritage backing, direction," 20 Apr. 2020 One story from the collection, excerpted in The White Review earlier this year, is told in the style of a brain surgeon’s FAQ for patients. Dana Snitzky, Longreads, "This Week in Books: This Moment Doesn’t Remind Me of Anything," 19 Mar. 2020 The letters excerpted here are from a handful of detainees at the Harris County Jail, the second largest in the country and the site of a fast-moving outbreak of COVID-19. Ian Macdougall, ProPublica, "“I Do Not Want to Die in Here”: Letters From the Houston Jail," 1 May 2012 The group will distribute the guideline excerpts that have appeared on the Internet. Margaret Newkirk, Bloomberg.com, "Without CDC Guidance, Reopenings Follow a Patchwork of Rules," 8 May 2020 Below, excerpted from Lesser’s book, are her three top recommendations in the genre. Paula L. Woods, Los Angeles Times, "Three essential Nordic crime series from Wendy Lesser’s ‘Scandinavian Noir’," 1 May 2020 This story has been excerpted from Daniel Mason’s forthcoming collection, A Registry of My Passage Upon the Earth. Daniel Mason, The Atlantic, "For the Union Dead," 6 Apr. 2020 This report is excerpted from Capital Insider by Darrel Rowland for the Columbus Dispatch, part of the USA TODAY Network. Darrel Rowland, Cincinnati.com, "Ohio abortion clinics ordered closed by Yost under health director’s order," 21 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'excerpt.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of excerpt


1627, in the meaning defined above


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for excerpt

Verb and Noun

Latin excerptus, past participle of excerpere, from ex- + carpere to gather, pluck — more at harvest

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Time Traveler for excerpt

Time Traveler

The first known use of excerpt was in the 15th century

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Statistics for excerpt

Last Updated

1 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Excerpt.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/excerpt. Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for excerpt



English Language Learners Definition of excerpt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a small part of a longer written work



English Language Learners Definition of excerpt (Entry 2 of 2)

: to include (part of a longer written work) in something else

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