Definition of extinguish
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>
extinguishableplay \-(g)wi-shə-bəl\ adjective
extinguisherplay \-shər\ noun
extinguishmentplay \-mənt\ 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.
Origin and Etymology of extinguish
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
EXTINGUISH Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of extinguish for English Language Learners
: to cause (something) to stop burning
: to cause the end or death of (something)
EXTINGUISH Defined for Kids
Definition of extinguish for Students
1 : to cause to stop burning
2 : to cause to die out <More bad news extinguished all hope.>
Legal Definition of extinguish
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
Seen and Heard
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