ex·tent | \ik-ˈstent \

Definition of extent 

1 archaic : valuation (as of land) in Great Britain especially for taxation

2a : seizure (as of land) in execution of a writ of extent in Great Britain also : the condition of being so seized

b : a writ giving to a creditor temporary possession of his debtor's property

3a : the range over which something extends : scope the extent of her jurisdiction

b : the point, degree, or limit to which something extends using talents to the greatest extent

c : the amount of space or surface that something occupies or the distance over which it extends : magnitude the extent of the forest

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of extent in a Sentence

She tried to determine the extent of the damage. the full extent of human knowledge He questions the extent to which these remedies are needed.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Regional competitions like Copa América and the European Championship (as well as, to a lesser extent, the CONCACAF Gold Cup) will allow new talents to emerge. Hayden Bird, BostonGlobe.com, "What to know about the World Cup title match," 14 July 2018 You are advised that Bloomberg will aggressively enforce its rights to the fullest extent of the law. Bloomberg, "Terms of Service," 8 July 2018 Some schools are said to be struggling, especially at the top end of the market (1m-2.5m shillings a year) which is beyond the reach of all but the richest Kenyans, and therefore relies to a large extent on expats. The Economist, "Elite private schools are booming in Kenya," 21 June 2018 Joshua Tree National Park and, to a greater extent, the surrounding Mojave Desert, has always had a morbid vibe. J. Weston Phippen, Outside Online, "People Keep Finding Bodies in Joshua Tree," 20 June 2018 Depending on the extent of the separation, this may result in serious health complications for both mother and fetus, such as placenta abruption, which is what happened to me. Tara Shafer, Redbook, "I Lost a Baby at 33 Weeks — Now I'm Fighting to Spare Others the Same Pain," 19 June 2018 The IHS Markit report argues that Exxon Mobil, Chevron and, to a lesser extent, Royal Dutch Shell, will need to spend nearly $30 billion from 2018 to 2020 just in West Texas' booming Permian Basin to hit their production targets. Jordan Blum, Houston Chronicle, "Oil majors need to spend $30b in Permian to meet production goals: IHS Markit," 18 June 2018 Yet, Gaza's population is unlikely to rise up against Hamas because there's no apparent alternative and because anger over the blockade remains largely directed at Israel and to a lesser extent at Egypt. Fares Akram, The Christian Science Monitor, "For Gazans, an open border crossing still presents barriers," 25 May 2018 The extent of the injuries are unknown at this time. Emily Hopkins, Indianapolis Star, "Noblesville middle school shooting: Here's what we know now," 25 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'extent.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of extent

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for extent

Middle English, from Anglo-French estente, extente land valuation, from extendre, estendre to survey, evaluate, literally, to extend

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about extent

Statistics for extent

Last Updated

16 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for extent

The first known use of extent was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for extent



English Language Learners Definition of extent

: the range, distance, or space that is covered or affected by something or included in something

: the point or limit to which something extends or reaches


ex·tent | \ik-ˈstent \

Kids Definition of extent

1 : the distance or range that is covered or affected by something

2 : the point, degree, or limit to which something reaches or extends the extent of our property

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on extent

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


lying above or upon

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!