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b : no longer active an extinct volcano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3a : gone out of use : superseded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

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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

Without cheese, crackers might go extinct just like doorbells and millennials would probably get blamed for it. Michelle Santiago Cortés, refinery29.com, "All The Places You Can Get Free Food For National Cheese Day Today," 5 June 2019 The rate that species are going extinct is accelerating to unprecedented levels, and about one million plant and animal species are now at risk of dying out over the next few decades, according to new findings from a United Nations group. Brianna Abbott, WSJ, "About One Million Species Face Risk of Extinction, U.N. Report Says," 6 May 2019 The genetic mutations will spread throughout the population and quickly cause the entire species to go extinct. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Are Testing a Way to Exterminate Mosquitoes for Good," 20 Feb. 2019 There’s the possibility that if more mountain lions aren’t introduced into the range in the years to come, that group could become extinct. Joseph Serna, latimes.com, "Meet the four blue-eyed mountain lion kittens living in the Simi Hills," 19 June 2018 The Stark house symbol and loyal companions to the six Stark children, are based on the now-extinct dire wolves of the prehistoric era, but fans are looking to large dog breeds for their similar appearances as pets. Sara Rodrigues, House Beautiful, "Game Of Thrones Wants You To Stop Buying "Direwolf" Dog Breeds," 16 Apr. 2019 Tucked away in the Lower East Side, the Metrograph was launched in 2016 as a way to promote and preserve a specific type of filmgoing experience that seemed to be going extinct. Keaton Bell, Vogue, "The Coolest New Yorkers Came Out to Celebrate the Metrograph Theater's Third Birthday," 25 Mar. 2019 Six years later, a conservative primary challenger defeated Case, one of a now-extinct breed of liberal Republicans. Thomas Fitzgerald, Philly.com, "U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez wins Democratic nomination in New Jersey," 5 June 2018 The first: June 17, 2007 against the Minnesota Twins, with an assist from outfielder Lew Ford, who lost the ball in the lights at the now-extinct Metrodome. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Let Prince Fielder's two inside-the-park home runs provide your Brewers zen for the day," 15 May 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

8 Jun 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 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

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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

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