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 excerption (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 An excerpt was posted that did not reflect the nature and tone of the full interview. Rasha Ali, USA TODAY, "Oprah says Gayle King feels 'attacked' after fallout from clip of her asking about Kobe Bryant's rape charge," 7 Feb. 2020 An excerpt was posted that did not reflect the nature and tone of the full interview. cleveland, "LeBron James chimes in on Gayle King-Lisa Leslie controversy," 6 Feb. 2020 Below are excerpts from and links to Carolyn’s columns about taking the high road in a breakup. Carolyn Hax, Washington Post, "Ways to get over a lost love, according to Carolyn Hax," 6 Feb. 2020 Here's an excerpt from the show: The best part of this halftime show is J.Lo singing with her daughter Emme and Shakira ❤️ #SuperBowl pic.twitter.com/epe0c2PJvW — Alyssa Bailey (@alyssabailey) February 3, 2020 And fans lost. Katherine J Igoe, Marie Claire, "Jennifer Lopez's Daughter Emme Joining Her On Stage at the Super Bowl Was Magnificent," 3 Feb. 2020 Read short excerpts by African American authors in an open mic format. Gege Reed, The Courier-Journal, "Here are 30+ events to help you celebrate Black History Month in Louisville this February," 31 Jan. 2020 An excerpt released on Friday describes how senior officials and generals met Trump for a briefing at the Pentagon in the summer of 2017. Rob Crilly, Washington Examiner, "Trump told his generals they were 'a bunch of dopes and babies'," 17 Jan. 2020 That archive material includes powerful images of the 2017 Women's March, both in Washington, D.C. and around the world, with extensive excerpts from Steinem's characteristically optimistic speech offering hope at the dawn of a new dark age. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Glorias': Film Review | Sundance 2020," 27 Jan. 2020 Edited excerpts: History can often be tricky and heavily contested in films about war. Manavi Kapur, Quartz India, "“Thankfully there’s no censorship on OTT, but sensationalism will only provoke authorities”," 23 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb This analysis was excerpted from the February 11 edition of CNN's Meanwhile in America, the daily email about US politics for global readers. Stephen Collinson, CNN, "The inexperience paradox in presidential campaigns," 11 Feb. 2020 The two movies are excerpted in two different songs on Manic, and are clearly important to Halsey. P. Claire Dodson, Teen Vogue, "Halsey's New Album "Manic" Samples "Jennifer's Body" and "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"," 17 Jan. 2020 Portions of this story were excerpted from Heather Arndt Anderson’s book, Portland: A Food Biography. Heather Arndt Anderson, Sunset Magazine, "Created for Prohibition a Century Ago, These Sodas Are Still in Our Rotation," 16 Jan. 2020 This attempt to contextualize Gillis echoed a section in Yang’s book that was excerpted, last year, by Quillette, in which Yang tries to empathize with the nihilistic ethos of the gamer community. Hua Hsu, The New Yorker, "Andrew Yang and the Political Narratives of Asian-Americans," 9 Oct. 2019 In honor of his centennial, Penguin Random House is re-issuing my book Mandela’s Way, now with a new introduction, which is excerpted here. Richard Stengel, Time, "What Nelson Mandela Would Have Seen in President Trump," 19 Mar. 2018 Seen from this remove, certain moments rise to the surface, worthy of excerpting for the Internet. Daniel Drake, The New York Review of Books, "The Slog Comes in on Little Cat Feet," 4 Jan. 2020 Royal historian Hugo Vickers, author of The Crown Dissected, (excerpted in The Times), says the show portrays Philip as being uncomfortable with his mother being in Buckingham Palace, and is reluctant to visit her in her room. Simon Perry, PEOPLE.com, "The Crown: The Truth About Prince Philip's Eccentric Mother Princess Alice," 21 Dec. 2019 Editor’s note: This article is excerpted from the forthcoming fall issue of Philanthropy magazine. Karl Zinsmeister, National Review, "The School-Reform Battle," 9 Oct. 2019

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

15 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Excerpt.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/excerpt. Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for excerpt


How to pronounce excerpt (audio) How to pronounce excerpt (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of excerpt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a small part of a longer written work


How to pronounce excerpt (audio) How to pronounce excerpt (audio) How to pronounce excerpt (audio) How to pronounce excerpt (audio)

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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More from Merriam-Webster on excerpt

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for excerpt

Spanish Central: Translation of excerpt

Nglish: Translation of excerpt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of excerpt for Arabic Speakers

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