extract

verb
ex·​tract | \ ik-ˈstrakt , 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 \

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 , (ˌ)ek-​ \ noun
extractable \ ik-​ˈstrak-​tə-​bəl , ˈek-​ˌstrak-​ \ adjective

Synonyms for extract

Synonyms: Verb

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

Synonyms: Noun

excerpt, passage

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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

The study suggested that increased methane emissions — added to the atmosphere by humans extracting and burning fossil fuels — have increased water vapor concentrations in the mesosphere by about 40 percent since the late 1800s. Katie Camero, BostonGlobe.com, "Once-rare cloud is now more common, and new study says climate change is to blame," 13 July 2018 Or, at least craft beer is often more nuanced and interesting than Big Beer and made with better ingredients that extract superior results. Josh Noel, chicagotribune.com, "Can craft brewers make good light beer? Our tasting pits them against Bud, Miller, Coors, more," 12 July 2018 When those talks collapsed, many blamed Samper, a former Colombian president, for not doing more to extract concessions from the government. Joshua Goodman, The Seattle Times, "South America bloc’s woes leave architectural gem forlorn," 8 Jan. 2019 Also, as Brian Gaines and Gisela Sin point out, there is precedent for a bloc of dissenters to extract major concessions from speaker nominees. Matthew Green, Vox, "Pelosi won her party’s vote to be speaker. But can she win the vote on the House floor?," 5 Dec. 2018 The rules also barred a broadband provider from, say, slowing down Amazon's shopping site to extract business concessions. Fox News, "Your internet use could change as 'net neutrality' ends," 12 June 2018 Trump’s team could attempt similar hardball tactics with Mueller to extract concessions from the special counsel’s office and then ultimately agree to an interview of some kind with him. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "United States v. Trump," 6 June 2018 However, DNA technology has improved to the point that investigators believe there may now be a chance something could be extracted from the flaps of envelopes or the inside of stamps where they were licked by the killer. Kevin Fagan, San Francisco Chronicle, "Zodiac murder case: Police taking another look at DNA evidence," 3 May 2018 Even better are those that are blended rather than extracted. Samantha Cassetty, NBC News, "Healthy eating mistakes that are interfering with your weight loss goals," 5 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Stir in brandy or rum, vanilla extract, ground nutmeg, and remaining cold milk. Heather Finn, Good Housekeeping, "How to Make Old-Fashioned Eggnog Your Grandma Would Be Proud Of," 18 Dec. 2018 Reduce mixer speed to medium and add egg whites 1 at a time, beating until each is fully incorporated, then beat in vanilla extract. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Double White Chocolate Cake," 29 Nov. 2018 Add four cups water and one cup oats (and any other ingredients you like, like dates or vanilla extract) to a blender. Audrey Bruno, SELF, "Here's How to Make Oat Milk," 27 Aug. 2018 Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition, then add the vanilla extract. Becky Krystal, Houston Chronicle, "This classic coffee cake is what good mornings are made of," 18 June 2018 Using a mask or leave-in conditioner like Klorane’s olive-extract Leave-In treatment will act as a precautionary measure when the air’s moisture content soars. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "The Definitive Guide to Frizz-Free Hair," 23 Aug. 2018 Church of the Holy Grail is listed on Weedmaps — an online marijuana forum where visitors can review cannabis strains and local dispensaries — as a dispensary selling marijuana herbs, extracts, edibles and topical products. Hannah Fry, latimes.com, "Newport Beach sues to halt what city calls a marijuana dispensary at Church of the Holy Grail," 3 July 2018 Tahitian Tiaré is a mix of monoi and coconut oil and Tiaré-blossom extract inspired by an island getaway. Shannon Barbour, The Cut, "These New Cruelty-Free Bodywashes Smell Like a Vacation," 8 June 2018 Hemp seeds are a nutritious source of protein for humans and livestock, while hemp oils and extracts are used in cosmetics, soaps, plastics and lubricants. William L. Spence, idahostatesman, "Congress has moved to OK this once-controversial crop, and Idaho could benefit bigtime," 4 July 2018

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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Statistics for extract

Last Updated

7 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for extract

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

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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 \
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 \

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 \

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-​ \ noun, plural extractabilities
extractable also extractible \ ik-​ˈstrak-​tə-​bəl, ˈek-​ˌ \ adjective

extract

noun
ex·​tract | \ ˈek-ˌstrakt \

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 \

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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