ex·​tant | \ ˈek-stənt How to pronounce extant (audio) ; ek-ˈstant, ˈek-ˌstant How to pronounce extant (audio) \

Definition of extant

1a : currently or actually existing the most charming writer extant— G. W. Johnson
b : still existing : not destroyed or lost extant manuscripts
2 archaic : standing out or above

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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

To analyze how diets evolved across the animal kingdom, John Wiens, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Arizona in Tucson, and his colleagues compiled a data set of more than 1000 extant species. Eva Frederick, Science | AAAS, "The world’s first animal was probably a carnivore," 30 Aug. 2019 That makes the bird considerably bigger than the largest extant penguin species, the Emperor penguin, which can grow to around four feet tall and weigh up to 88 pounds. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "A Human-Sized Penguin Once Waddled Through New Zealand," 14 Aug. 2019 Today, there are two extant copies: one in the British Library, the other in the Folger Shakespeare Library. Jamie Quatro, The New Yorker, "The Hidden Life of a Forgotten Sixteenth-Century Female Poet," 5 Aug. 2019 His friend’s father became his first client for what would become a successful, still-extant technology and design company called Sedna Solutions. Lila Seidman, latimes.com, "For Shant Sahakian, Armenian American museum executive director, civic life is the good life," 4 June 2019 Xxxtentacion’s estate has so far only issued a few extant tracks, but his presence is all over the charts. Randall Robertsstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Xxxtentacion’s estate teases new song, ‘Royalty,’ one year after his death," 17 July 2019 One quest was Capo Colonna, a lone Doric column extant from a lost temple to Hera, on the easternmost promontory of Calabria. Frances Mayes, National Geographic, "Discover Italy’s most delicious secret," 11 July 2019 Visit the site of the world’s oldest still extant parliament, the Althing, convened in A.D. 930. National Geographic, "Iceland Hiking Adventure," 12 June 2019 Even Jacquemus’s micro bag, surely the smallest extant object known to humanity, would not survive a black hole. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Just Wait Until Fashion Designers Get Their Hands on This Black Hole Picture," 10 Apr. 2019

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 2

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

11 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for extant

The first known use of extant was in 1545

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More Definitions for extant



English Language Learners Definition of extant

formal : in existence : still existing : not destroyed or lost

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More from Merriam-Webster on extant

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with extant

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for extant

Spanish Central: Translation of extant

Nglish: Translation of extant for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of extant for Arabic Speakers

Comments on extant

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


concealment of treason or felony

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