extinguish

verb

ex·​tin·​guish ik-ˈstiŋ-(g)wish How to pronounce extinguish (audio)
extinguished; extinguishing; extinguishes

transitive verb

1
a(1)
: to bring to an end : make an end of
hope for their safety was slowly extinguished
(2)
: to reduce to silence or ineffectiveness
b
: to cause to cease burning : quench
c
: to cause extinction of (a conditioned response)
d
: to dim the brightness of : eclipse
2
a
: to cause to be void : nullify
extinguish a claim
b
: to get rid of usually by payment
extinguish a debt
extinguishable adjective
extinguisher noun
extinguishment noun

Examples of extinguish in a Sentence

The fire department was called in to extinguish the blaze. He extinguished his cigarette in the ashtray. They ruthlessly extinguished all resistance. News of the conflict extinguished our hopes for a peaceful resolution.
Recent Examples on the Web Pima County Sheriff's Department said around 380 inmates were evacuated while the Tucson Fire Department extinguished the fire. Arizona Republic, The Arizona Republic, 13 July 2024 The male homeowner was able to extinguish the fire before crews got there but was later transported to a local hospital for smoke inhalation. Kelli Bender, Peoplemag, 10 July 2024 Keep water nearby to extinguish fireworks if a fire breaks out. Natalie Neysa Alund, USA TODAY, 5 July 2024 The fire then spread to Singh's home and a neighbor's home, causing extensive damage before the Wantagh Fire Department extinguished the fires, according to the report. Susan Baek, NBC News, 5 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for extinguish 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'extinguish.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Latin exstinguere (from ex- + stinguere to extinguish) + English -ish (as in abolish); akin to Latin instigare to incite — more at stick

First Known Use

circa 1540, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

Time Traveler
The first known use of extinguish was circa 1540

Dictionary Entries Near extinguish

Cite this Entry

“Extinguish.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/extinguish. Accessed 21 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

extinguish

verb
ex·​tin·​guish ik-ˈstiŋ-gwish How to pronounce extinguish (audio)
1
: to cause to stop burning
2
: to cause to die out
extinguishable adjective
extinguisher noun

Medical Definition

extinguish

transitive verb
ex·​tin·​guish ik-ˈstiŋ-(g)wish How to pronounce extinguish (audio)
: to cause extinction of (a conditioned response)
extinguish an avoidance response

Legal Definition

extinguish

transitive verb
ex·​tin·​guish
1
: to cause the nonexistence of : do away with
2
: to cause (as a claim or right) to be void : nullify
3
: to get rid of (a debt or other liability) by payment or other compensatory adjustment
extinguishable adjective
extinguishment noun

More from Merriam-Webster on extinguish

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