ex·​ten·​sive | \ ik-ˈsten(t)-siv How to pronounce extensive (audio) \

Definition of extensive

1 : having wide or considerable extent extensive reading
3 : of, relating to, or constituting farming in which large areas of land are utilized with minimum outlay and labor

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Other Words from extensive

extensively adverb
extensiveness noun

Examples of extensive in a Sentence

The storm caused extensive damage. an extensive series of tests

Recent Examples on the Web

The updo options for short hair are more extensive than ever; thanks to the ingenuity of some the red carpet's top hairstylists. Glamour, "The 20 Best Updos for Short Hair," 18 May 2019 His musical intelligence was a little more extensive than his mother’s. Robert Sullivan, Vogue, "Meet Himesh Patel, Breakout Star of Yesterday," 17 May 2019 Harvard says admissions officers receive extensive training. Nicole Hong, WSJ, "Arguments Over How to Prove Racial Bias Drive Final Day at Harvard Trial," 2 Nov. 2018 The curators stock the store with high-end products, while the staff go through extensive training before hitting the floor. Gigi Engle, SELF, "7 Questions to Ask the Salesperson—and Yourself—Before Buying Your First Vibrator," 20 July 2018 In addition, Trump said office personnel need to undergo extensive training on whom to let into the building through the single point of entry, which usually includes a buzzer and a camera that shows the office staff who is approaching. Lois K. Solomon, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Schools tighten up to keep intruders out," 5 July 2018 The United States boasts a population of 325 million, has a viable professional soccer league and extensive, expensive training all over the place. Mac Engel, star-telegram, "Soccer's other problem aside from being a 'rich white kids sport'," 5 July 2018 Although the Victoria and Albert Museum here is filled with an extraordinary array of treasures, its truly spectacular Cast Courts have been undergoing extensive and much-needed restoration since 2011. Richard Cork, WSJ, "Worthy Imitations Worth a Visit," 18 Dec. 2018 Cayla O’Connell Davis founded Knickey with an extensive knowledge of sustainable fashion, specifically organic cotton. Emily Farra, Vogue, "Is Your Underwear Bad for the Planet—And Possibly Your Health?," 30 Nov. 2018

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

1604, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for extensive

Last Updated

26 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for extensive

The first known use of extensive was in 1604

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More Definitions for extensive



English Language Learners Definition of extensive

: large in size or amount : very full or complete


ex·​ten·​sive | \ ik-ˈsten-siv How to pronounce extensive (audio) \

Kids Definition of extensive

: including or affecting many things The storm caused extensive damage.

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Comments on extensive

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


a strong desire or propensity

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