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)

Keep scrolling for more

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 Why the Times’s excerpt was so poorly handled, on so many fronts, is murky. Margaret Sullivan, Washington Post, "A book on Kavanaugh has real news. But it’s lost in the furor over a botched New York Times excerpt.," 16 Sep. 2019 Here are some excerpts of Gee’s insights about the new building. Taylor Kate Brown, SFChronicle.com, "Bay Briefing: Trump says feds can solve our homelessness problem," 11 Sep. 2019 The Talking to Strangers audiobook is essentially a super-sized podcast episode, with excerpts from Gladwell’s recorded interviews, archival audio, conversations re-created by actors, and even music. Tyler Aquilina, EW.com, "Why Malcolm Gladwell's Talking to Strangers is an audiobook for the podcast generation," 10 Sep. 2019 Here are excerpts from our late-August email exchange. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Tony Bennett, at 93: ‘I just want to keep learning and expressing the truth’," 8 Sep. 2019 Here's the most interesting excerpts from Aresco's conversation with reporters on a range of those issues: How important are these marquee non-conference games, not just to schedule them but to be competitive or win? Fletcher Page, Cincinnati.com, "Commissioner Mike Aresco addresses AAC football's future after UConn's exit," 3 Sep. 2019 Here's an excerpt from the song, which is moody and actually pretty catchy, in my opinion: View this post on Instagram Slide Away - link in bio. Katherine J Igoe, Marie Claire, "In Newly Released Song, Miley Cyrus May Be Giving Us Hints Why She and Liam Hemsworth Split," 16 Aug. 2019 The following excerpt is from How Could She by Lauren Mechling, published by Viking, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC. Elena Nicolaou, refinery29.com, "How Could She," 25 June 2019 While the spookier elements of our conversation may naturally stick in more minds, today’s excerpt is the most important segment. Rob Reid, Ars Technica, "Ars on your lunch break: There’s hope, and we’ll all be fine… probably," 20 June 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb This article was excerpted from the National Geographic books 100 Parks, 5000 Ideas and National Geographic Guide to the National Parks of the United States, Seventh Edition, 2012. National Geographic, "Everything to know about Denali National Park and Preserve," 8 July 2019 The following piece by Relman Morin, who died in 1973, is excerpted from his biography of Dwight D. Eisenhower, who served as Supreme Allied Commander during D-Day. Time, "Inside General Eisenhower’s Sleepless Night Ahead of the D-Day Invasion," 6 June 2019 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about excerpt

Statistics for excerpt

Last Updated

25 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for excerpt

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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 as a report or rumor

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Confusing Words—A Quiz

  • alice with tweedle dee and tweedle dum
  • I invented a brand new toaster robot and ______ it "Sir Toasts-a-Lot."
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!