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 extinguishable (audio) \ adjective
extinguisher \ ik-​ˈstiŋ-​(g)wi-​shər How to pronounce extinguisher (audio) \ noun
extinguishment \ ik-​ˈstiŋ-​(g)wish-​mənt How to pronounce extinguishment (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 Mladenov took a more philosophical approach, saying annexation would do more than just extinguish the prospect of a two-state solution to solve the conflict. Washington Post, "UN envoy: Israeli annexation could unleash Mideast violence," 25 June 2020 Fire crews were on the scene to extinguish the fire. Sophie Carson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Chaotic scene develops at Milwaukee house at center of police investigation into missing teenage girls," 23 June 2020 What-if questions, one of the hallmark techniques of innovation, can also serve to extinguish imagination depending on where they are used. Josh Linkner, Detroit Free Press, "What's your 'what if'? Turns out that when you ask it matters," 20 June 2020 Officials asked the public to avoid this area as firefighters work to extinguish the fire. Bree Burkitt, azcentral, "Multiple train cars catch fire in downtown Phoenix," 19 June 2020 Now there’s a chance that water could help save the country from an even worse fate—and not just as a way to extinguish future blazes. Nathanial Gronewold, Scientific American, "To Boost Renewable Energy, Australia Looks to Water and Gravity," 18 June 2020 Beijing raised its level of health alert to the second highest Tuesday, ordering schools to close and urging people to work from home as China’s government pressed to extinguish a spike in coronavirus infections menacing the capital. BostonGlobe.com, "Schools shut in Beijing as coronavirus flares," 17 June 2020 Gulf Shores isn’t the only city in Alabama weighing whether to extinguish their fireworks shows for 2020. al, "Red, White and Poof: Alabama’s July 4th firework shows fizzle due to coronavirus," 14 June 2020 President Trump on Wednesday sought to extinguish a growing national debate over whether 10 U.S. Army bases honoring Confederate officers should be renamed. Michael R. Gordon And Nancy A. Youssef, WSJ, "Trump Moves to Halt Bid to Drop Confederate Names From Military Bases," 10 June 2020

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

1 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Extinguish.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/extinguish. Accessed 4 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for extinguish

extinguish

verb
How to pronounce extinguish (audio)

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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Comments on extinguish

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