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)

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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

Synonyms: Noun

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb This particular batch contained limonene, a compound extracted from the skins of citrus fruit. Peter Rowe, chicagotribune.com, "CBDs: a ‘Wild West’ of wild claims," 23 Oct. 2019 This is particularly true of those extracted from ordinary citizens. Kristof Titeca, Quartz Africa, "Failed state? How the DRC continues to deliver public services," 25 Sep. 2019 This particular organoid has only recently been possible, thanks to rapid advances in techniques used to extract ancient DNA from fossils, along with the rise of the gene-editing tool CRISPR. Lacy Schley, Discover Magazine, "State of Science: Creating Neanderthal 'Mini-Brains' With Ancient DNA, CRISPR," 1 Jan. 2019 Oil reserves refer to crude that’s economically feasible to extract. Washington Post, "Iran discovers new oil field with over 50 billion barrels," 10 Nov. 2019 Mushaw underwent the procedure in Boston on July 2, 2018, two needles inserted into his pelvic bone to extract marrow. Mike Anthony, courant.com, "Mike Anthony: Central Connecticut football celebrates life of young girl that junior linebacker Mike Mushaw saved by becoming a donor," 10 Nov. 2019 Oil reserves refer to crude that's economically feasible to extract. Author: Amir Vahdat, Anchorage Daily News, "Iran discovers new oil field with over 50 billion barrels," 10 Nov. 2019 Like cows, buffalo chew cud to further extract nutrients. Kylie Mohr, National Geographic, "African buffalo," 9 Nov. 2019 That afternoon, while his wife pounded fruits to extract the seeds, Pukatire sat in a hammock, carving a war club. Jon Lee Anderson, The New Yorker, "Blood Gold in the Brazilian Rain Forest," 4 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Sugar, cornstarch, eggs, whole milk, salt, vanilla extract, bananas, butter. Rachel Karten, Bon Appétit, "Don’t Be Intimidated By This Sky-High Banana Cream Pie," 1 Nov. 2019 In a large Dutch oven or saucepan or slow cooker, combine all ingredients except vanilla extract. Carrie Knauer, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Carrie’s Kitchen: Can’t have too many pumpkin recipes this time of year," 7 Oct. 2019 Experiment with different flavorings such as: soaked pitted dates; maple syrup or honey; cinnamon; vanilla extract; grated ginger root; citrus zest. Claire Perez, sun-sentinel.com, "Claire’s tip of the week: How to make, and use, cashew cream," 27 Sep. 2019 In the other bowl, fold in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Dallas News, "3 Indian sweets with a twist from our favorite new cookbook 'Milk & Cardamom'," 12 Aug. 2019 Kevin Kvistad, 60, of Burnsville, pours vanilla extract into his palms and then rubs his hands around his head and neck before venturing outside. Kris Maher, WSJ, "The Black Fly Is Here for Your Blood—and Dignity," 16 June 2019 Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar and pure vanilla extract until smooth. Taylor Murray, Country Living, "Tulip Cupcakes," 12 Feb. 2019 In a small bowl, mix 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp light/low-fat ricotta cheese, 3 natural no-calorie sweetener packets, and 3 drops vanilla extract until uniform. Lisa Lillien, Redbook, "4 Sweet Summer Snacks Under 110 Calories," 30 May 2017 The Peach Blossom Leaf Face Mask ($9.99 for a pack of six; amazon.com) contains a range of natural botanical extracts, including peach, cactus, aloe vera and algae. Nikhita Mahtani, CNN Underscored, "10 top-rated sheet masks you can buy on Amazon right now," 11 Sep. 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.

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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

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Time Traveler for extract

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for extract

Last Updated

28 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Extract.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/extract. Accessed 11 December 2019.

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More Definitions for extract

extract

verb
How to pronounce extract (audio)

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
How to pronounce extract (audio)

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
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

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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

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