extract

verb
ex·​tract | \ ik-ˈstrakt How to pronounce extract (audio) , usually in sense 5 ˈek-ˌstrakt\
extracted; extracting; extracts

Definition of extract

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to draw forth (as by research) extract data
b : to pull or take out forcibly extracted a wisdom tooth
c : to obtain by much effort from someone unwilling extracted a confession
2a : to withdraw (something, such as a juice or a constituent element) by physical or chemical process
b : to treat with a solvent so as to remove a soluble substance
3 : to separate (a metal) from an ore
4 : to determine (a mathematical root) by calculation
5 : to select (excerpts) and copy out or cite

extract

noun
ex·​tract | \ ˈek-ˌstrakt How to pronounce extract (audio) \

Definition of extract (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a selection from a writing or discourse : excerpt
2 : a product (such as an essence or concentrate) prepared by extracting especially : a solution (as in alcohol) of essential constituents of a complex material (such as meat or an aromatic plant)

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from extract

Verb

extractability \ ik-​ˌstrak-​tə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce extractability (audio) , (ˌ)ek-​ \ noun
extractable \ ik-​ˈstrak-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce extractable (audio) , ˈek-​ˌstrak-​ \ adjective

Synonyms for extract

Synonyms: Verb

corkscrew, prize, pry, pull, root (out), tear (out), uproot, wrest, wring, yank

Synonyms: Noun

excerpt, passage

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for extract

Verb

educe, evoke, elicit, extract, extort mean to draw out something hidden, latent, or reserved. educe implies the bringing out of something potential or latent. educed order out of chaos evoke implies a strong stimulus that arouses an emotion or an interest or recalls an image or memory. a song that evokes warm memories elicit usually implies some effort or skill in drawing forth a response. careful questioning elicited the truth extract implies the use of force or pressure in obtaining answers or information. extracted a confession from him extort suggests a wringing or wresting from one who resists strongly. extorted their cooperation by threatening to inform

Do you exact or extract revenge?

The verb exact (as in, "exacting revenge" or "exacting a promise") is not as commonly encountered as the adjective exact, (as in "an exact copy" or "exact measurements"). Sometimes people will mistakenly use the more common verb extract when they really want exact. Extract can refer to removing something by pulling or cutting or to getting information from someone who does not want to give it. While both words refer to getting something they are used in different ways. You extract a tooth, but you exact revenge.

The Crisscrossing Histories of Abstract and Extract

Verb

Abstract is most frequently used as an adjective (“abstract ideas”) and a noun (“an abstract of the article”), but its somewhat less common use as a verb in English helps to clarify its Latin roots. The verb abstract is used to mean “summarize,” as in “abstracting an academic paper.” This meaning is a figurative derivative of the verb’s meanings “to remove” or “to separate.”

We trace the origins of abstract to the combination of the Latin roots ab-, a prefix meaning “from” or “away,” with the verb trahere, meaning “to pull” or “to draw.” The result was the Latin verb abstrahere, which meant “to remove forcibly” or “to drag away.” Its past participle abstractus had the meanings “removed,” “secluded,” “incorporeal,” and, ultimately, “summarized,” meanings which came to English from Medieval Latin.

Interestingly, the word passed from Latin into French with competing spellings as both abstract (closer to the Latin) and abstrait (which reflected the French form of abstrahere, abstraire), the spelling retained in modern French.

The idea of “removing” or “pulling away” connects abstract to extract, which stems from Latin through the combination of trahere with the prefix ex-, meaning “out of” or “away from.” Extract forms a kind of mirror image of abstract: more common as a verb, but also used as a noun and adjective. The adjective, meaning “derived or descended,” is now obsolete, as is a sense of the noun that overlapped with abstract, “summary.” The words intersected and have separated in modern English, but it’s easy to see that abstract applies to something that has been summarized, and summarized means “extracted from a larger work.”

Examples of extract in a Sentence

Verb

He extracted a credit card from his wallet. I had to have a tooth extracted. The tumor was surgically extracted. We finally extracted a confession from him. Investigators were able to extract useful information from the company's financial records. They are hoping to extract new insights from the test results. The machines extract the juice from the apples. oil extracted from sunflower seeds venom extracted from poisonous snakes

Noun

The recipe calls for a tablespoon of vanilla extract. the anthology includes a long extract from the epic poem
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In the South Bay, the primary source of mercury is the former New Almaden quicksilver mine, where it was extracted for use in mining gold during the Gold Rush era. Joseph Geha, The Mercury News, "New safety guidelines issued for eating fish from Coyote Lake," 13 Aug. 2019 Djamali, who is also nephrology division chief at UW Health, said white blood cells will be extracted from a patient’s parent or sibling. Mark Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin kidney transplant patients with virus will be studied in hopes of finding cure," 6 Aug. 2019 After the ingrown hairs have been pulled and any pustules have been extracted, a vajacial in the form of a mask, or scrub or skin conditioner could be amazing. Essence, "Ask An OB-GYN: How Can I Make My Vagina Look and Feel Healthier?," 5 Aug. 2019 Three people were extracted from a vehicle that crashed into a roadway median in Newport Beach Wednesday, according to authorities. Daily Pilot, "Three people extracted from vehicle after it crashes into a road median in Newport Beach," 31 July 2019 The adult male driver of the Ford died, police said, and a woman and two children in the Ford were extracted and taken to a hospital with serious injuries. George Tanner, The Denver Post, "Man dies, five injured in traffic collision in Commerce City," 27 July 2019 Every medal presented at the Games will be molded using the 32kg of gold, 3,500kg of silver, and 2,200kg that were extracted from the electronics. Michele Petry, House Beautiful, "Recycled Home Electronics Will Become 2020's Tokyo Olympic Medals," 24 July 2019 Adding insult to injury was that while he was being extracted from the tire barriers, his fellow championship contenders — Pagenaud, Scott Dixon, Alexander Rossi and Newgarden — were finishing 1-2-3-4. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "IndyCar: Penske star Will Power beats himself up after 'really bad mistakes' in Toronto," 14 July 2019 Two divers will accompany each boy as they are gradually extracted. Fox News, "Thailand cave rescue operation suspended as 4 more boys freed, bringing total to 8," 2 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Add egg yolks, vanilla extract, and lime zest to the egg white mixture and mix. CBS News, "The Dish: Chef Erling Wu-Bower shares his signature recipes," 27 July 2019 The plaster is made of lime, seaweed extracts and eggshells. Matt Mcfarland, CNN, "Tech companies are stepping back in time to fight climate crisis," 26 June 2019 Another possible explanation is that the marijuana, edible treats and extracts sold legally in stores are more potent than what was commonly available on the black market. Gene Johnson, The Seattle Times, "Gee whiz: Testing of Tacoma sewage confirms rise in marijuana use," 24 June 2019 Red or Green Tea Tea extracts are some of the best antioxidants to protect skin against pollution and everyday stress. Alina Dizik, Woman's Day, "Fight Signs of Aging While You Sleep," 10 Sep. 2012 Water is the primary ingredient, followed by a lot of oils (canola, coconut and sunflower), extracts, starches and a pea protein. Chuck Blount, ExpressNews.com, "Believe the hype. Beyond Meat is worth grilling," 22 July 2019 Add the milk, lemon juice, vanilla and almond extract (if using), and beat until smooth. Ben Mims, latimes.com, "Saturday Cooks: Fresh farmers market cherries get a boost in flavor from a surprising source," 29 June 2019 Another possible explanation is that the marijuana, edible treats and extracts sold legally in stores are more potent than what was commonly available on the black market. Gene Johnson, The Seattle Times, "Gee whiz: Testing of Tacoma sewage confirms rise in marijuana use," 24 June 2019 Another possible explanation is that the marijuana, edible treats and extracts sold legally in stores are more potent than what was commonly available on the black market. Washington Post, "Gee whiz: Testing of sewage confirms rise in marijuana use," 20 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'extract.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of extract

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for extract

Verb

Middle English, from Latin extractus, past participle of extrahere, from ex- + trahere to draw

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about extract

Statistics for extract

Last Updated

22 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for extract

The first known use of extract was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for extract

extract

verb

English Language Learners Definition of extract

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to remove (something) by pulling it out or cutting it out
: to get (information, a response, etc.) from someone who does not want to give it
: to get (something, such as information) from something

extract

noun

English Language Learners Definition of extract (Entry 2 of 2)

: a substance that you get from something by using a machine or chemicals
: a short piece of writing that is taken from a longer work (such as a book)

extract

verb
ex·​tract | \ ik-ˈstrakt How to pronounce extract (audio) \
extracted; extracting

Kids Definition of extract

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to remove by pulling extract a tooth
2 : to get out by pressing, distilling, or by a chemical process extract juice
3 : to choose and take out for separate use He extracted a few lines from a poem.

extract

noun
ex·​tract | \ ˈek-ˌstrakt How to pronounce extract (audio) \

Kids Definition of extract (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a selection from a writing
2 : a product obtained by pressing, distilling, or by a chemical process vanilla extract

extract

transitive verb
ex·​tract | \ ik-ˈstrakt How to pronounce extract (audio) \

Medical Definition of extract

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to pull or take out forcibly extracted a wisdom tooth
2 : to withdraw (as the medicinally active components of a plant or animal tissue) by physical or chemical process also : to treat with a solvent so as to remove a soluble substance

Other Words from extract

extractability \ ik-​ˌstrak-​tə-​ˈbil-​ət-​ē, (ˌ)ek-​ How to pronounce extractability (audio) \ noun, plural extractabilities
extractable also extractible \ ik-​ˈstrak-​tə-​bəl, ˈek-​ˌ How to pronounce extractible (audio) \ adjective

extract

noun
ex·​tract | \ ˈek-ˌstrakt How to pronounce extract (audio) \

Medical Definition of extract (Entry 2 of 2)

: something prepared by extracting especially : a medicinally active pharmaceutical solution

Keep scrolling for more

extract

noun
ex·​tract | \ ˈek-ˌstrakt How to pronounce extract (audio) \

Legal Definition of extract

: a certified copy of a document that forms part of or is preserved in a public record

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on extract

What made you want to look up extract? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a usually brief trip or an expedition

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!