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b : no longer active an extinct volcano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3a : gone out of use : superseded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

Before September 26, 1981, the ferret — a 19 to 24 inch-long, 1.4 to 2.5 pound predator who mostly targets prairie dogs in the United State’s Western plains — was not just considered endangered; it was considered extinct. Dylan Matthews, Vox, "How to save a species (if you really want to)," 21 Nov. 2018 Hundreds of years of trapping and hunting red wolves in the Eastern U.S. winnowed them down until they were declared extinct in the wild in 1980. Robbie George, National Geographic, "Rule to Allow Hunting Could Doom Rare Red Wolves," 29 June 2018 Today, those numbers have dwindled to just 20,000, and the cats have been declared extinct in 26 countries. Christopher Bendana, The Christian Science Monitor, "Uganda's pride: Lions test locals' patience," 27 June 2018 While the black rhino has bounced back from near extinction in 1995 (rebounding from a population of less than 2,500 to approximately 5,000 today), the Western Black Rhino was declared extinct in 2011. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "We know you hate the Internet of Things, but it’s saving megafauna from poachers," 6 June 2018 Last seen in 1938, the eastern cougar was declared extinct in 2011. Elisa Neckar, Discover Magazine, "20 Things You Didn't Know About ... Big Cats," 8 May 2018 Once a common sight across the entire southeastern U.S., the red wolf was listed as endangered in 1967 and first declared extinct in the wild in 1980, according to the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, "Red wolves nearing extinction — only 40 left in the wild," 1 May 2018 His first case is the café marron tree, considered extinct until a solitary example turns up in 1980 beside a road on the Indian Ocean island of Rodrigues. Richard Conniff, WSJ, "‘The Plant Messiah’ Review: The Miracle Worker," 13 Apr. 2018 The game has changed where the guy inside is becoming extinct, basically. Gary Bedore, kansascity, "A former KU center analyzes the game of Jayhawks big man Udoka Azubuike | The Kansas City Star," 29 Mar. 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

16 Feb 2019

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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

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esteemed in general opinion

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