extinguish

verb
ex·​tin·​guish | \ ik-ˈstiŋ-(g)wish \
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 \ adjective
extinguisher \ ik-​ˈstiŋ-​(g)wi-​shər \ noun
extinguishment \ ik-​ˈstiŋ-​(g)wish-​mənt \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for extinguish

Synonyms

blanket, douse (also dowse), put out, quench, snuff (out)

Antonyms

fire, ignite, inflame (also enflame), kindle, light

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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

By extinguishing smaller blazes, leaf litter, shrubs, and small plants build up in forests, increasing the fuel load. Umair Irfan, Vox, "What we learned from the disasters that hammered the US in 2018," 27 Dec. 2018 Sure, checking to make sure your smoke detectors are properly functioning is important regardless, but how about purchasing a self-extinguishing coil candle to go with that holiday candle collection? Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "Candle By The Hour's Coil Candles Extinguish Themselves," 6 Nov. 2018 Days later, the Chicago Tribune ran a list of regulations that had been flaunted by the Iroquois, including the lack of an adequate fire alarm, automatic sprinklers, marked exits, or suitable fire extinguishing devices. Francine Uenuma, Smithsonian, "The Iroquois Theater Disaster Killed Hundreds and Changed Fire Safety Forever," 12 June 2018 Thursday’s proposed change in the U.S. code was backed by building-safety advocates who argued that the interior sprinklers and firefighting equipment are inadequate for extinguishing an exterior fire high off the ground. Scott Calvert, WSJ, "Committee Proposes Limiting Use of Panels Linked to High-Rise Fires," 20 Apr. 2018 Maybe there are firefighters who are paid to ride around and, instead of extinguishing raging fires, acknowledge all the places that are not burning down in flames. Michael Harriot, The Root, "The Root’s Clapback Mailbag: The Wypipo Participation Trophy," 6 Apr. 2018 After deftly extinguishing the game's first power-play opportunity, West grabbed a 1-0 lead. Matt Nevala, Anchorage Daily News, "South topples West to return to top of CIC hockey," 4 Feb. 2018 Firefighters found the bodies of McBride, Ronald Guess, 61, and Gwinn Green, 53, after extinguishing a fire that had fully engulfed a house in the 800 block of Troup Avenue early Dec. 12. Robert A. Cronkleton, kansascity, "Last of three victims found in suspicious Kansas City, Kan., house fire identified," 24 Jan. 2018 But to many in Britain, this is akin to setting your house on fire and then reveling in the community spirit as neighbors come running to help extinguish the blaze. Peter S. Goodman, New York Times, "In Britain, Austerity Is Changing Everything," 28 May 2018

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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Statistics for extinguish

Last Updated

20 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for extinguish

The first known use of extinguish was circa 1540

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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 \
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 \

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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