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 With newer fertilization methods like intracytoplasmic sperm injection, doctors can extract a single sperm cell and inject it directly into an egg, overcoming low sperm counts or motility (swimming ability) and obviating the need for donor sperm. Caitlin Harrington, Wired, "There's No Such Thing as Family Secrets in the Age of 23andMe," 30 July 2020 Berkeley would freeze vacancies and shave down overtime to extract the money, then spend it on new programs, such as an African-American Holistic Resource Center. Rachel Swan, SFChronicle.com, "The future of Bay Area policing is coming into focus as cities and agencies slash budgets and redirect money," 1 July 2020 They can also be used to extract oil or toxins from water or an oil spill. Mary Kilpatrick, cleveland, "Nanotechnology shown to slow spread of COVID-19 virus in lung and white blood cells, study shows," 3 July 2020 Instead, the group is being set up: a greedy young pharmaceuticals mogul named Steven Merrick (Harry Melling) kidnaps all of them but Nile, in order to extract their DNA and distill their regenerative trait into a marketable therapy. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "“The Old Guard,” Reviewed: Warriors Who Can Never Die, or Free Themselves from Genre Constraints," 9 July 2020 Klett identifies our messy paradox, the human desire to lose ourselves in the wild and also to extract, despoil, and package it. Cheri Lucas Rowlands, Longreads, "“I Saw It on Instagram, I Had to Come”: The Desire to Document Ourselves in Nature," 7 July 2020 Rimmed cartridges extract and eject most reliably in double rifles. Ron Spomer, Outdoor Life, "There’s No Such Thing as a ‘Stopping Rifle’," 3 July 2020 The malware would extract credit card numbers and other data. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Crooks abuse Google Analytics to conceal theft of payment card data," 22 June 2020 For example, the agency is researching how to extract water from solid waste so it can be recycled for crewed missions. Daniel Oberhaus, Wired, "Why NASA Designed a New $23 Million Space Toilet," 22 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun From caffeine delivery mechanism to cultural and social connector: That’s how deep in our veins this simple fruit extract runs. Matt Bean, Sunset Magazine, "The New Rules of Making Coffee," 2 Aug. 2020 The two products are mattifying but not drying, thanks to their star ingredient, bamboo extract. Angela Trakoshis, Allure, "Philosophy Is Launching an Oil-Free Version of Its Iconic Purity Collection," 1 Aug. 2020 Early research looked at PMS symptoms and a specific combination product containing royal jelly, pistil extract, and bee pollen. Stefani Sassos, Ms, Rdn, Cso, Good Housekeeping, "All of the Nutrition Facts, Health Benefits, and Risks of Taking Bee Pollen," 25 May 2020 Beat in two teaspoons vanilla extract, one teaspoon baking powder, a quarter teaspoon baking soda, a half-teaspoon salt, 1 1/2 cups flour until smooth. The New York Times News Service Syndicate, The Denver Post, "Five adaptable recipes, all from your pantry," 30 Mar. 2020 Formulated with just arnica, peppermint, and green tea extract, this is muscle recovery without any weird ingredients to research. Tessa Bahoosh, USA TODAY, "16 popular self-care products under $30," 2 July 2020 Marshmallow Buttercream: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream 1 cup unsalted room temperature butter, 4 cups powdered sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract for about 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. Dallas News, "Summer nostalgia: How to make your own oatmeal cream pies," 18 June 2020 To slow down any infestation rate, apply a spray of 2 tablespoons of seaweed extract in a gallon of water under the leaves every week. Calvin Finch, ExpressNews.com, "Calvin Finch: Full-color summer shrubs for your San Antonio garden," 4 June 2020 Take the bowl off the heat and add 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract. cleveland, "Ice cream toppings to help you chill out this summer," 13 July 2020

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

9 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Extract.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/extract. Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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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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Comments on extract

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