ex·​tant ˈek-stənt How to pronounce extant (audio)
ˈek-ˌstant How to pronounce extant (audio)
: currently or actually existing
the most charming writer extant G. W. Johnson
: still existing : not destroyed or lost
extant manuscripts
archaic : standing out or above

Example Sentences

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
Recent Examples on the Web The virus hit the city hard, exacerbating already extant crises of inequality and housing affordability and deepening concerns about shelter space for unhoused Angelenos and the sturdiness of the safety net upon which those in need depended. Nicholas Slayton, The New Republic, 2 Dec. 2022 Not the least of which is an understanding of where all extant encryption is deployed within an organization and what vendor systems are being used. Vikram Sharma, Forbes, 10 Oct. 2022 Collectively, these new marsupial reproductive technologies could become crucial tools for the conservation of extant species such as koalas or numbats, Pask says. Kate Evans, Scientific American, 16 Aug. 2022 Simply Seattle sells more green-and-yellow gear than anything related to any extant Seattle franchise, said marketing director Joe Munson. Dina Bass, Fortune, 22 Oct. 2022 Although many parts of the proposal would be carried out via extant city government arms, some new elements—such as right to counsel—would need to be created by the City Council. Nicholas Slayton, The New Republic, 11 Oct. 2022 The adult length of extant species ranges from 8 inches in some species, to over 10 feet in others. Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY, 23 Sep. 2022 Combined with these extant oddballs, the moa fossils helped to establish the idea that New Zealand was a lost world, a place where ancient creatures, sheltered by distance from the rest of the world, managed to survive mass extinction events. Boyce Upholt, Smithsonian Magazine, 12 Sep. 2022 So far, a total of nineteen extant and four fossil species of the genus have been described. Joshua Hawkins, BGR, 15 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1545, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of extant was in 1545

Dictionary Entries Near extant

Cite this Entry

“Extant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/extant. Accessed 7 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition



: existing at the present time : not destroyed or lost

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