extinction

noun
ex·​tinc·​tion | \ ik-ˈstiŋ(k)-shən How to pronounce extinction (audio) \

Definition of extinction

1 : the act of making extinct or causing to be extinguished
2 : the condition or fact of being extinct or extinguished also : the process of becoming extinct extinction of a species
3 : the process of eliminating or reducing a conditioned response by not reinforcing it

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Examples of extinction in a Sentence

the extinction of all life in the region the extinction of many old traditions Mass extinctions of prehistoric animals are known to have occurred.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Fiercely loyal alumnae of Sweet Briar College had just brought their school back from extinction. Allen C. Guelzo, WSJ, "America’s Disappearing Private Colleges," 21 Feb. 2019 Leading killer-whale scientists and researchers are calling for removal of four dams on the Lower Snake River and a boost of water over the dams to save southern resident killer whales from extinction. Lynda V. Mapes, The Seattle Times, "Orca survival may be impossible without Lower Snake River dam removal, scientists say," 15 Oct. 2018 Suddenly, Laika, Ham, and her pups need to come up with a plan to outwit their human foes and save this intergalactic animal kingdom from extinction. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "Laika: Forget historic tragedy, this first space dog saves alien planets," 14 Oct. 2018 Several groups on Wednesday said the loss of the calf highlights the need for quick action in order to save orcas from extinction. Kathleen Joyce, Fox News, "Devastating photos show grieving orca pushing dead calf to water surface for two days," 27 July 2018 Wisconsin’s wolves are a prime example of how a strong ESA is critical to ensuring that rare species aren’t subjected to irresponsible killing, threatening them with extinction. WSJ, "How Best to Keep Those Wolves From the Door?," 12 Aug. 2018 According to the update, 26,197 species of plants and animals are currently threatened with extinction. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Australian Reptiles And a Toad Named After Gollum on Latest Endangered Species Update," 6 July 2018 Giant clams, also threatened with extinction, were seized by police as well. National Geographic, "Turtle Trafficker Sentenced, But Suspected Mastermind Still Not Charged," 8 June 2018 The firm was threatened with extinction because of severe US sanctions imposed after ZTE infringed US restrictions on trade with Iran and North Korea. Stephen Collinson, CNN, "Trump flips US foreign policy upside down," 7 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'extinction.' 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 extinction

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for extinction

Last Updated

14 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for extinction

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

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More Definitions for extinction

extinction

noun

English Language Learners Definition of extinction

: the state or situation that results when something (such as a plant or animal species) has died out completely

extinction

noun
ex·​tinc·​tion | \ ik-ˈstiŋk-shən How to pronounce extinction (audio) \

Kids Definition of extinction

: the state of being, becoming, or making extinct

extinction

noun
ex·​tinc·​tion | \ ik-ˈstiŋ(k)-shən How to pronounce extinction (audio) \

Medical Definition of extinction

1 : the process of becoming extinct the extinction of a species also : the condition or fact of being extinct
2 : the process of eliminating or reducing a conditioned response by not reinforcing it

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Comments on extinction

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