ex·tinct | \ ik-ˈstiŋ(k)t , ˈek-ˌstiŋ(k)t \

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b : no longer active an extinct volcano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3a : gone out of use : superseded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)

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Synonyms & Antonyms for extinct

Synonyms: Adjective

bygone, bypast, dead, defunct, departed, done, expired, gone, nonextant, vanished

Antonyms: Adjective

alive, existent, existing, extant, living

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Examples of extinct in a Sentence


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

Based on what is known, scientists project that more than 90 percent of the world’s reefs, which sustain 25 percent of marine life, will be extinct by 2050. Bill Gourgey, WIRED, "How Artificial Intelligence Could Prevent Natural Disasters," 10 July 2018 All the fossil corals in Michigan are part of the two groups that are extinct: the Tetracorals (from the Paleozoic era) and the Tabulate corals (from the Paleozoic and Mesozoic eras). Caroline Blackmon, Detroit Free Press, "Where to find 5 of Michigan's coolest rocks," 28 June 2018 The Meg How to build a fake ocean, by Lorenzo Di Bonaventura, producer The Plot: A prehistoric monster shark called a megalodon, thought to be extinct, attacks a research vessel. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "The Secrets of Summer 2018's Greatest Movie Stunts and Effects," 20 June 2018 Scientists listed the black shark as extinct in the wild in 1996, and only recently discovered a small population in 2014. Harrison Takoff, Smithsonian, "Why You Can Walk Into a Store and Buy a Nearly Extinct Animal," 2 Apr. 2018 Last year, the wildlife commission acted on the landowner complaints by calling on Fish and Wildlife to shut down the recovery program and declare red wolves extinct in the wild. Anchorage Daily News, "This distinctively American wolf may be going extinct in the wild – again," 5 Feb. 2018 The Oregon wildlife agency says the situation has gotten so bad on the Willamette that there's a 90 percent chance that the winter steelhead run will go extinct if the sea lion problem isn't addressed. Ryan Sabalow, sacbee, "To protect salmon in the Columbia, will we have to kill more sea lions?," 6 July 2018 Buy Photo At the once-bustling Burlington Center mall, extinct department stores perch on the edge of a bleak asphalt sea, spiky weeds bob in the summer breeze, and some trees are dying as if from a plague. Kevin Riordan, Philly.com, "All sales final: N.J.'s 'worst' and 'saddest' shopping mall is going out of business," 9 July 2018 But, like the bouillabaisse a la Marseillaise at the extinct Anthony’s Pier 4, that white-gloved era is long gone, and so are the maître d’s who came with it. Dugan Arnett, BostonGlobe.com, "The last maître d’ is here to serve you from a bygone time," 6 July 2018

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.

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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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Statistics for extinct

Last Updated

14 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for extinct

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

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More Definitions for extinct



English Language Learners Definition of extinct

: no longer existing

: no longer active


ex·tinct | \ ik-ˈstiŋkt \

Kids Definition of extinct

1 : no longer active an extinct volcano

2 : no longer existing Dinosaurs are extinct.


ex·tinct | \ ik-ˈstiŋ(k)t , ˈek-ˌ \

Medical Definition of extinct 

: no longer existing : lacking living representatives extinct prehistoric animals

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More from Merriam-Webster on extinct

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for extinct

Spanish Central: Translation of extinct

Nglish: Translation of extinct for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of extinct for Arabic Speakers

Comments on extinct

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


a magnificent or impressive array

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