ex·​tinct | \ ik-ˈstiŋ(k)t How to pronounce extinct (audio) , ˈek-ˌstiŋ(k)t How to pronounce extinct (audio) \

Definition of extinct

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : no longer burning
b : no longer active an extinct volcano
2 : no longer existing an extinct animal
3a : gone out of use : superseded
b : having no qualified claimant an extinct title


extincted; extincting; extincts

Definition of extinct (Entry 2 of 2)

Synonyms & Antonyms for extinct

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of extinct in a Sentence

Adjective Many of these old traditions have since become extinct. a few overgrown ruins are all that remain of that once mighty but now extinct civilization
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Its closest relative — the long extinct simocyon — was a puma-like creature that lived about 18 million years ago, National Geographic reports. Fox News, 11 Aug. 2022 The creature, now extinct, has fossils that date back 20 million years. Anna Kaufman, USA TODAY, 10 Aug. 2022 It was developed by billionaire Edmond Safra and private equity investor-turned-restaurateur Juan Santa Cruz in an effort to fill the gap that nearly extinct offices have left for the world’s richest workers. Jane Thier, Fortune, 5 Aug. 2022 The construction of those dams, which began more than 80 years ago, rendered salmon extinct in hundreds of miles of rivers and destroyed the area’s most important fishing grounds. Tony Schick, ProPublica, 4 Aug. 2022 Other unusual Samoan sites include the crater of an extinct volcano where wild goldfish swim. Johanna Read, Forbes, 3 Aug. 2022 After a century that almost rendered wild Asian tigers extinct, Nepal has turned the fate of the big cat species around. Bellamy Richardson, Peoplemag, 2 Aug. 2022 The analysis showed, however, that the extinct panda mostly ate plants, although not almost exclusively bamboo like giant pandas today. Tom Metcalfe, NBC News, 1 Aug. 2022 As the window closes to find more evidence to prove the bird is endangered rather than extinct, those who’ve been searching for the woodpecker are doubling down efforts to stop it from being relinquished to the pages of history books. Nick Popowitch, Arkansas Online, 27 July 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of extinct


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for extinct


Middle English, from Latin exstinctus, past participle of exstinguere

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Time Traveler for extinct

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The first known use of extinct was in the 15th century

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Statistics for extinct

Last Updated

15 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Extinct.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/extinct. Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for extinct


ex·​tinct | \ ik-ˈstiŋkt How to pronounce extinct (audio) \

Kids Definition of extinct

1 : no longer active an extinct volcano
2 : no longer existing Dinosaurs are extinct.


ex·​tinct | \ ik-ˈstiŋ(k)t How to pronounce extinct (audio) , ˈek-ˌ How to pronounce extinct (audio) \

Medical Definition of extinct

: no longer existing : lacking living representatives extinct prehistoric animals

More from Merriam-Webster on extinct

Nglish: Translation of extinct for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of extinct for Arabic Speakers


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