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

extract, passage

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Examples of excerpt in a Sentence


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.


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

If anything these excerpts underscore the film’s limited breadth and context; there are no outside supporting or dissenting voices here, much less input from friends (beyond Catto), family members, colleagues or collaborators. Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times, "Review: Ram Dass shares how ‘Becoming Nobody’ can be more challenging than becoming somebody," 4 Sep. 2019 Even those brief script excerpts that appeared on THR suggest the film is an arch, in-your-face comic thriller, along the lines of other Blumhouse projects like The Purge. David Sims, The Atlantic, "How The Hunt Became a Political Rorschach Test," 13 Aug. 2019 Most of the motion was redacted, but CNN have published a small excerpt in relation to why Ronaldo signed the settlement agreement nine years ago, insisting that the fact an agreement happens to be in place doesn't imply guilt. SI.com, "Cristiano Ronaldo's Lawyers Confirm Past Hush Payment to Rape Accuser," 20 Aug. 2019 The NBC Nightly News on Saturday featured excerpts from sibling cable channel MSNBC’s extensive live coverage earlier in the day. oregonlive.com, "How Portland protests played on national TV: From ‘peaceful but very, very tense’ to ‘ground zero for antifa’," 18 Aug. 2019 In late July, theater-goers on the hunt for something new got a first look at the massive new show at the American Museum of Natural History when American Repertory Theater at Harvard University debuted excerpts from the upcoming adaptation. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "There Is Going to be a ‘Moby-Dick’ Musical," 9 Aug. 2019 The book was written way back in 2013, but the internet just discovered it now and after reading a few excerpts, some people think that Dominic is totally bitter about his son's fame. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "People Think that Tom Holland’s Dad Was Trying to Shade His Son’s Success," 9 Aug. 2019 The following is an excerpt about their best of times, printed with permission from Simon & Schuster. Elena Nicolaou, refinery29.com, "What Being Friends With Anna Delvey Was Really Like — Before Getting Scammed," 24 July 2019 The following excerpt goes inside that opening night, revealing both the anxiety leading up to it and the resulting triumph. Richard Zoglin, Time, "Inside the Las Vegas Show That Turned Elvis' Career Around," 23 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Third, and consistent with the First Amendment, news companies routinely paraphrase and excerpt sources. Michael Mccann, SI.com, "How Will Roger Goodell Handle Tyreek Hill Situation as NFL Nears Decision?," 15 July 2019 The following is excerpted from the book FOR THE GOOD OF THE GAME: The Inside Story of the Surprising and Dramatic Transformation of Major League Baseball by Bud Selig with Phil Rogers. Bud Selig With Phil Rogers, SI.com, "Bud Selig Recounts His 'Misery' Waiting for Barry Bonds to Break the Home Run Record," 9 July 2019 Stories so tempting to summarize should not also be such a pleasure to excerpt. Dan Chiasson, The New York Review of Books, "True Mirages," 6 June 2019 Cudi’s memoir, Long Shot: The Inside Story of the Snipers Who Broke ISIS, from which this story is excerpted, will be published next month by Atlantic Monthly Press. Azad Cudi, Harper's magazine, "Long Shot," 10 Jan. 2019 These lines were often excerpted and reprinted in radical and free-thinking periodicals, including in the US. Eric Powell, The New York Review of Books, "Shelley’s Anti-Boney Fides," 6 June 2019 Nike would strengthen this argument by showing excerpted language from the endorsement contracts to support this assertion. Michael Mccann, SI.com, "Kawhi Leonard vs. Nike: Analyzing the Raptors' Star's Logo Lawsuit," 4 June 2019 The following essay was excerpted from THE MOTH PRESENTS: OCCASIONAL MAGIC Copyright @ 2019 Edited by Catherine Byrnes. Aleeza Kazmi, Teen Vogue, "How Pastels and Crayons Taught Me to Love My Brown Skin," 22 Mar. 2019 Thiebaud’s essay, originally prepared for the Museum of Modern Art, is provided as an exhibition brochure and excerpted in signage on the walls. Charles Desmarais, San Francisco Chronicle, "Wayne Thiebaud’s early works still confound," 20 Jan. 2018

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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Statistics for excerpt

Last Updated

13 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for excerpt

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

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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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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

Comments on excerpt

What made you want to look up excerpt? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to spread over or through

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