ex·​tent | \ ik-ˈstent How to pronounce extent (audio) \

Definition of extent

1a : the range over which something extends : scope the extent of her jurisdiction
b : the amount of space or surface that something occupies or the distance over which it extends : magnitude the extent of the forest
c : the point, degree, or limit to which something extends using talents to the greatest extent
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
3 archaic : valuation (as of land) in Great Britain especially for taxation

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The question for many has become if, and to what extent, such long-distance travel is necessary at all. San Diego Union-Tribune, "‘Flight shaming’ could help unleash billions in airline cash to protect the Amazon and other tropical forests," 15 Sep. 2019 To what extent are our visible leaders the world’s true decision-makers? BostonGlobe.com, "The CIA chemist who sought the secrets of mind control - The Boston Globe," 14 Sep. 2019 The book raises important questions about the extent to which the legal profession was complicit in concealing conduct like Weinstein’s over the years. Elizabeth C. Tippett, The Conversation, "Weinstein may be a monster, but the lawyers who enabled him are the real villains in #MeToo takedown ‘She Said’," 12 Sep. 2019 But to what extent is reasoning, comprehension, or knowledge of science actually needed to answer these questions? Wired, "AI Can Pass Standardized Tests—But It Would Fail Preschool," 10 Sep. 2019 The center says that as of Aug. 31, sea ice extent dropped to the third lowest on satellite record for that day: 1.78 million square miles. Author: Davis Hovey, Anchorage Daily News, "With sea ice still melting, vessels doing Arctic transits stop at Nome late in season," 10 Sep. 2019 In a perfect snapshot of the era, Trump’s erroneous tweet now underscores the extent to which American governance now revolves around serving Trump rather than serving the American people. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "The Trump Organization’s Hostile Takeover of the U.S. Government," 10 Sep. 2019 The youngest person arrested on the weekend was 14, underscoring the extent to which teenagers are on the frontline of Hong Kong’s protests. Isabella Steger, Quartz, "Photos: Hong Kong high-school students formed human chains in solidarity with protesters," 9 Sep. 2019 That’s not even the extent of this week’s Harley and Ivy content. Christian Holub, EW.com, "5 comics to read in September: Endings and beginnings for fairies and gods," 4 Sep. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of extent

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for extent

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

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Statistics for extent

Last Updated

18 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for extent

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

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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 How to pronounce extent (audio) \

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on extent

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with extent

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for extent

Spanish Central: Translation of extent

Nglish: Translation of extent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of extent for Arabic Speakers

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).


authorized for issue (as a bond)

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