1 of 2


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

transitive verb

: to select (a passage) for quoting : extract
: to take or publish extracts from (something, such as a book)
excerptor noun
or excerpter
ek-ˈsərp-shən How to pronounce excerpt (audio)

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
This story was an excerpt from Axios Closer, a recap on the day's biggest business stories. Hope King, Axios, 15 July 2024 In a new excerpt from his book published by Fortune, Jeremy dives into one of AI’s most pernicious challenges: bias. Will Daniel, Fortune, 10 July 2024
Her essay on anxiety was excerpted on newyorker.com. The New Yorker, 12 June 2024 The following has been excerpted from The Brain Health Kitchen: Preventing Alzheimer’s Through Food by Annie Fenn, M.D. Breakfast: Smashed Raspberry Overnight Oats Serves 2 Soaking oats overnight in milk is an easy, make-ahead method for a pudding-like oatmeal. Flow Space, 17 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for excerpt 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'excerpt.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Verb and Noun

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

First Known Use


1627, in the meaning defined above


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near excerpt

Cite this Entry

“Excerpt.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/excerpt. Accessed 19 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 verb
ex·​cerpt ek-ˈsərpt How to pronounce excerpt (audio) eg-ˈzərpt How to pronounce excerpt (audio)
: to select for quoting
: to take excerpts from


2 of 2 noun
: a part taken from a longer work
read an excerpt from the play

More from Merriam-Webster on excerpt

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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