extinguish

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

Definition of extinguish

transitive verb

1a(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
2a : to cause to be void : nullify extinguish a claim
b : to get rid of usually by payment extinguish a debt

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Other Words from extinguish

extinguishable \ ik-​ˈstiŋ-​(g)wi-​shə-​bəl How to pronounce extinguish (audio) \ adjective
extinguisher \ ik-​ˈstiŋ-​(g)wi-​shər How to pronounce extinguish (audio) \ noun
extinguishment \ ik-​ˈstiŋ-​(g)wish-​mənt How to pronounce extinguish (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for extinguish

Synonyms

Antonyms

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web At least one adjacent unit sustained damage from smoke and the water firefighters used to extinguish the flames. Alex Riggins, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 June 2021 Eventually, police arrived to extinguish the flames. Washington Post, 2 June 2021 Deputies used more than 30,000 gallons of water to extinguish the flames because the vehicle's battery kept reigniting the fire, Herman said. NBC News, 20 Apr. 2021 More than 30 firefighters, including Diablos firefighters from across the border in Mexico, were trying on Friday to extinguish the 15- to 20-acre blaze in warm temperatures with high winds and red-flag fire conditions, park officials said. Kelli Smith, Dallas News, 10 Apr. 2021 Its software is used in nine states, and helped the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection predict the trajectory of wildfires this year, saving valuable time for those trying to extinguish the blazes. Kevin Roose, New York Times, 30 Dec. 2020 Also expected to be heard next year is the case involving Emond Johnson, accused of arson and murder in the death of San Antonio firefighter Scott Deem, who was killed while trying to extinguish a blaze at Johnson’s gym May 18, 2017. Elizabeth Zavala, ExpressNews.com, 28 Nov. 2020 Video of the incident shows firefighters trying to extinguish the blaze as smoke fills the air. Fox News, 28 Nov. 2020 The explosion and fire tore through a chain of connected townhomes, leaving the Williams family home badly damaged by smoke, fire, water and the firefighters’ efforts to extinguish the blaze. Christine Condon, baltimoresun.com, 10 May 2021

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

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

History and Etymology for extinguish

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

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Time Traveler for extinguish

Time Traveler

The first known use of extinguish was circa 1540

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Statistics for extinguish

Last Updated

8 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Extinguish.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/extinguish. Accessed 19 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for extinguish

extinguish

verb

English Language Learners Definition of extinguish

: to cause (something) to stop burning
: to cause the end or death of (something)

extinguish

verb
ex·​tin·​guish | \ ik-ˈstiŋ-gwish How to pronounce extinguish (audio) \
extinguished; extinguishing

Kids Definition of extinguish

1 : to cause to stop burning
2 : to cause to die out More bad news extinguished all hope.

Other Words from extinguish

extinguisher noun

extinguish

transitive verb
ex·​tin·​guish | \ ik-ˈstiŋ-(g)wish How to pronounce extinguish (audio) \

Medical Definition of extinguish

: to cause extinction of (a conditioned response) extinguish an avoidance response

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extinguish

transitive verb
ex·​tin·​guish

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

Other Words from extinguish

extinguishable adjective
extinguishment noun

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