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

YouTubers have also been uploading copies of the game's 100+ remixed Nintendo theme songs extracted directly from the pirated files. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Nintendo struggles to contain massive Smash Bros. Ultimate leaks," 26 Nov. 2018 Some small studies have linked ginger intake — when combined with other plant extracts — to some benefits in weight loss. Jaclyn London, Ms, Rd, Cdn, Good Housekeeping, "8 Surprising Health Benefits of Ginger You Need to Know About," 19 Nov. 2018 Most of the booths showed off tech products that are designed to help cultivate and extract the plant, but there were a number of creative agencies and branding companies present as well. Angela Chen, The Verge, "Weed and luxury in Las Vegas," 15 Nov. 2018 The Soothing Tea Cleansing Gel is also spiked with brightening ingredients like sake and licorice extract, as well as tea tree extract and green tea, which help clear skin. Devon Abelman, Allure, "Then I Met You, a New Skin-Care Brand, Debuts With Double Cleansing Duo," 17 Oct. 2018 Lee shared on Facebook footage of herself and her family dumping the drink into some grass, and extracting what appeared to be two chalky tablets. Michael Bartiromo, Fox News, "Starbucks customer claims Frappuccino contained cleaning tablets: 'I would hope it's an honest mistake'," 30 Aug. 2018 Drilling into the cave and extracting the boys from above has been suggested, but Narongsak, speaking at a news conference, said only 18 of 100 holes that have been located are potentially viable. Shibani Mahtani, chicagotribune.com, "Cave rescue stalls as death of Thai diver underscores perils," 7 July 2018 Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Heather Finn, Good Housekeeping, "The Only Cream Cheese Pumpkin Muffin Recipe You'll Want to Make This Fall," 13 Sep. 2018 Narongsak said the rescue team consisted of 13 foreign and five Thai divers, with two divers each would extract each boy out of the cave. Scooby Axson, SI.com, "4 Youth Soccer Players Rescued From Thailand Cave," 8 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Brut IPAs’ signature dryness comes from the addition of a naturally occurring enzyme called amyloglucosidase, available to brewers as a pure extract. William Bostwick, WSJ, "Craft Beer Breakthrough: Brisk New Bubblies for the Holiday Table," 20 Nov. 2018 Glow Recipe worked with Whamisa on a green tea line with antioxidants and botanical extracts that melts makeup and removes pore-clogging impurities. Marian Liu, CNN, "Beyond beauty: Korean makeup provides 'cosmeceuticals'," 11 Apr. 2018 Add yolks, one at a time, until incorporated into the butter-sugar mixture, followed by cane syrup and vanilla extract. Rebekah Denn, The Seattle Times, "Cane syrup, a Southern staple, makes its way to Seattle just in time for prime pecan-pie season," 20 Nov. 2018 But don’t go rubbing your morning cup of tea on your face (or downing green tea extract supplements, for that matter)—there are so many green tea skin-care products. Jenn Sinrich, SELF, "The Best Antioxidants for Skin, According to Dermatologists," 8 Nov. 2018 The rest of the ingredients are fairly benign, just some plant extracts and vitamin E. Chloe Metzger, Marie Claire, "Amazon's Baebody Eye Gel Has 13,000 Rave Reviews," 10 Oct. 2018 The brand says that Blackdrop gets its color from the formula's mix of mattifying bamboo charcoal powder and smoothing black pearl, while vitamin E hydrates and phytoplankton extract wards off pollution. Rachel Nussbaum, Glamour, "This Black Primer Works Like Magic on Your Skin," 24 Sep. 2018 With the same pH as skin, this extract is extremely soothing. Allure, "The Skin-Care Glossary: A Comprehensive Guide to Everything You Need to Know," 17 Aug. 2018 Make Sour Cream Whip: Beat together heavy cream, sour cream, confectioners’ sugar, and pure vanilla extract with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes. Kate Merker, Country Living, "Cast-Iron Apple-Blackberry Crumble with Sour Cream Whip," 13 Aug. 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

12 Dec 2018

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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Comments on extract

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