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b : no longer active an extinct volcano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3a : gone out of use : superseded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

Toward the end of his life, he was convinced all Loch Ness monsters had perished, lamenting in interviews the creatures had gone extinct due to global warming. Deanna Pan, BostonGlobe.com, "Why a Boston lawyer bankrolled the man behind the FBI’s infamous Bigfoot file," 10 June 2019 Researchers reviewed published research, international databases, and museum specimens such as grasses from Madagascar (pictured), tallying up 571 plants species that have gone extinct in the past 250 years. Erik Stokstad, Science | AAAS, "Twice as many plants have gone extinct than birds, mammals, and amphibians combined," 10 June 2019 Since the 16th century, the planet has seen 680 vertebrae extinctions, with more than 9 percent of all domesticated breeds of mammals used for food and agriculture becoming extinct by 2016. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Our Planet Just Got a Health Check, and the Diagnosis Is Grim," 6 May 2019 Alyson Stoner Creates the Playlist to Her Life Neanderthals walked Europe and Asia about 40,000 years ago, before going extinct. Emily Bloch, Teen Vogue, "Scientists Say Climate Change May Have Wiped Out Neanderthals," 30 Aug. 2018 Any birds that had to live exclusively in those trees, the authors say, would have gone extinct as well. Amina Khan, latimes.com, "The asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs also shaped the evolution of birds," 24 May 2018 The threatened listing sparked hope that the Apache trout could be the first fish removed from the list without going extinct. Joshua Bowling, azcentral, "After disease outbreak, Apache trout are returning to waterways in the White Mountains," 9 May 2018 The spring pygmy sunfish was twice thought to have already gone extinct, but a population was found in the Beaverdam Spring Complex, very close to the site of the plant. Dennis Pillion, AL.com, "Alabama auto plant could wipe out endangered fish, group says," 11 Apr. 2018 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

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

22 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

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).


to take the place or position of

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