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

Street closures Road restrictions are more extensive than in previous years. Washington Post, "July 4 events, protests draw crowds in Washington; thousands arriving via Metro to the Mall for military flyovers and fireworks," 4 July 2019 The list is extensive, punctuated with cautionary tales. Christopher Clarey, New York Times, "Keeping Cori Gauff Healthy and Sane," 2 July 2019 The damage at Sherwood Island State Park in Westport was so extensive that state officials were forced to close the popular park Sunday for repairs. Kathleen Mcwilliams, courant.com, "Man killed by falling tree limb in Fairfield," 1 July 2019 The abuses were so extensive that in 1919 the Texas legislature agreed to investigate charges. Time Staff, Time, "15 Unsung Moments From American History That Historians Say You Should Know About," 28 June 2019 Due to the nearly complete draining, the mud flats will be extensive. cleveland.com, "Be careful around Horseshoe Lake; benefit at EDWINS on Shaker Square; more: Press Run," 28 June 2019 Burger’s tree is extensive given his tenure and includes many stars of bench, bar and classroom. Hugh Hewitt, Twin Cities, "Hugh Hewitt: A chief justice’s underappreciated legacy comes into focus," 27 June 2019 On the question of hitting targets in Iran, no question that the Iranian air defense system-- both the air based and particularly the surface to air based missiles-- are more extensive and likely to be more effective than in Syria. CBS News, "Transcript: Bill Burns and Jim Miller talk with Michael Morell on "Intelligence Matters"," 21 June 2019 As the ridge is thought to be continental crust, the territorial extensions could be extensive. Richard Kemeny, Science | AAAS, "As countries battle for control of North Pole, science is the ultimate winner," 20 June 2019

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

7 Jul 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).


characterized by aphorism

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