ex·​tant | \ˈek-stənt; ek-ˈstant, ˈek-ˌstant \

Definition of extant 

1 archaic : standing out or above

2a : currently or actually existing the most charming writer extant— G. W. Johnson

b : still existing : not destroyed or lost extant manuscripts

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Synonyms & Antonyms for extant


alive, around, existent, existing, living


dead, extinct, nonextant

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Examples of extant in a Sentence

There is, he reports, no extant copy of the Super Bowl I television broadcast; nobody bothered to keep the tapes. — Joe Queenan, New York Times Book Review, 1 Feb. 2009 First produced in the spring of 472 BC, Persians is noteworthy in the corpus of the thirty-two extant Greek tragedies in that it is the only classical Greek drama that dramatizes an actual historical event. — Daniel Mendelsohn, New York Review, 21 Sept. 2006 [George] Lucas' brain teemed with plots and characters, exotic creatures, worlds to be spun out of the words and sketches in his notebooks. Also, by numbering the extant episodes IV, V and VI, he was implicitly promising a prequel trilogy … — Richard Corliss, Time, 9 May 2005 There are few extant records from that period. one of the oldest buildings still extant
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Recent Examples on the Web

Some of the world’s oldest extant choreography often feels the freshest, the most innocent. Alastair Macaulay, New York Times, "Review: Royal Danes Deliver Fresh Shots of Bournonville," 21 June 2018 Researchers compared the reconstructed genome to mitochondrial genomes from 138 extant bears and 32 ancient bears to create a family tree, explains a press release announcing the new research. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "This Ancient Panda Skull Belongs to a Previously Unknown Lineage," 20 June 2018 There are dozens of examples in the extant literature, usually focusing on rumors of poison gases or, in more recent times, terrorist deployment of chemical weapons. Alexis C. Madrigal, The Atlantic, "The Case of the Sick Americans in Cuba Gets Stranger," 15 Feb. 2018 In fact, the 20 extant species of gibbons are some of the most endangered animals on Earth. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Extinct Gibbon Species Discovered in 2,000-Year-Old Chinese Tomb," 23 June 2018 In its quest to find extant life in the Solar System, NASA has focused its gaze on the Jovian moon Europa, home to what is likely the largest ocean known to humans. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Senior scientist argues that we should bypass Europa for Enceladus," 5 July 2018 Early evidence with extant species such as musk ox, reindeer and horse suggests animal presence is changing the park landscape structure and cooling the ground. Paul Mann, Smithsonian, "Can Bringing Back Mammoths Help Stop Climate Change?," 14 May 2018 Roughly 40 years later, Coffey joins Beckett in a ghostly collaboration, creating a new work based on the mathematical organizational scheme that Beckett laid out in six extant pages. Kathleen Rooney, New York Times, "Three Literary Critics Who Engage With Their Subjects, Unconventionally," 27 Apr. 2018 According to the Financial Times, the consortium is talking about setting up a new international league competition for national teams, and expanding the already-extant Club World Cup tournament. Alan Murray, Fortune, "Rare Earths, Coal Shutdown, Norwegian Air: CEO Daily for April 12, 2018," 12 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'extant.' 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 extant

1545, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for extant

Latin exstant-, exstans, present participle of exstare to stand out, be in existence, from ex- + stare to stand — more at stand

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Statistics for extant

Last Updated

9 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for extant

The first known use of extant was in 1545

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English Language Learners Definition of extant

: in existence : still existing : not destroyed or lost

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Comments on extant

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