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

There’s the news that’s neither good nor bad, just… extant, like the incorporation of Pravda (or Pravduh), along with Musk’s idea to create his own version of The Onion, called Thud! Elizabeth Lopatto, The Verge, "Elon Musk is the first influencer CEO," 21 Dec. 2018 All told, only a few dozen of his poems are extant. Gregg Opelka, WSJ, "Mega Millions? I’ve Got Plenty of Nothing," 22 Oct. 2018 The locked down, highly secure Chrome OS machines require negligible maintenance while being largely immune to most extant malware. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "$600 Chromebooks are a dangerous development for Microsoft," 1 Sep. 2018 Snarkitecture has grown into one of today’s most exciting studios despite having relatively few extant projects. Diana Budds, Curbed, "Play it forward," 18 July 2018 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

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

2 Jan 2019

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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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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

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tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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