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

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
Recent Examples on the Web The exhibition includes an extant example from Sargent’s personal prop collection, deliberately laid out so that viewers can get lost in its drapery—much like Sargent, in fact, who relished in the technical challenge of capturing a textile’s dimensionality. Stephanie Sporn, Vogue, 11 Oct. 2023 Alas, extant survey research suggests that Hamas would still have a good chance of winning any election held in Gaza, and in the West Bank as well (where the Palestinian Authority/Fatah has persistently refused to test its rule at the ballot box out of fear of such a result). Bradley Gitz, arkansasonline.com, 13 Nov. 2023 Lost in America also informs us that HABS is now the longest extant government agency established under Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. Martin Filler, The New York Review of Books, 9 Nov. 2023 The new classifications nearly doubled the number of extant Nautilus species — from four to seven. Gabe Allen, Discover Magazine, 30 Oct. 2023 Among the tragedians, there are extant works from only three: Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides. Teju Cole, New York Times, 12 Sep. 2023 But this new finding adds evidence to the case that Europa’s ocean would be a good bet for hosting extant life. Margaret Osborne, Smithsonian Magazine, 22 Sep. 2023 Decades ago, French textile barons the Schlumpf brothers amassed a collection of over 400 of the very best vintage specimens, including two of the six extant Bugatti Royales. Ben Oliver, Robb Report, 24 Sep. 2023 The shutdown or lockdown of a single site may eliminate all access to the only extant source for a major movie. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 25 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'extant.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 6 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: existing at the present time : not destroyed or lost

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