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

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

Their product, extracted into a tincture, saved Charlotte from her seizures when no other medicine could. Amber Senter, Marie Claire, "We Have to Acknowledge That CBD Use Is a Privilege," 11 Apr. 2019 That feature lets Iron Mountain’s clients in professional sports easily search through and extract video clips of specific players for marketing campaigns, for example. Sara Castellanos, WSJ, "Google Targets CIOs With Its Cloud-Enabled AI Push," 10 Apr. 2019 This in part explains the shortage of these materials being extracted in the United States. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "We've Found a New Source for Rare-Earth Elements We Need for Green Tech," 7 Mar. 2019 One person was in critical condition after being extracted from the chunky snow that spilled over the Kandahar ski slope, Commander Christian Varone of the Valais regional police said. Jamey Keaten, The Seattle Times, "Avalanche hits skiers at Swiss resort; 4 rescued so far," 19 Feb. 2019 Fertilize them by watering with diluted fish emulsion, seaweed extract, or compost tea. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "Everything You Need to Know About Container Gardening," 13 Aug. 2018 Before him were geoscientists such as Mike Forrest at Shell and others who found new ways to identify resources and extract them in some of Earth’s most remote locations and deep water. Houston Chronicle, "Competition for top talent keeps pay scale high in oil industry," 13 July 2018 Critics, though, have noted that rocketing troops into space, landing them and extracting them would require enormous amounts of fuel and the lightest ship possible for efficiency. Tom Vanden Brook, USA TODAY, "Jim Mattis once wanted to rocket Marines into space, foreshadowing Trump's Space Force," 11 July 2018 He and his group were eventually rescued by Haitian SWAT, sent by Police Chief Michel-Ange Gédéon to extract them from the Cabaret police station and take them to the SWAT's base. Jacqueline Charles, miamiherald, "Flights slowly resume in Haiti after gas price hike reversed but tensions remain high," 8 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Their idea was to streamline those two things in a single bottle by adding hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, aloe gel, and chamomile extracts. Glamour, "I Put Glow Recipe's New Pineapple-C Serum to the Test," 31 Mar. 2019 Go with a lightweight, hypoallergenic option like Burt’s Bees Sensitive Eye Cream, which helps to shield the eye area from potential irritants (another great benefit of the cotton extract). Baze Mpinja, Marie Claire, "Have Sensitive Skin? Do These 4 Things Before Bed," 8 Mar. 2019 Immediately add the vanilla extract and chocolate cake mix and fold in until combined. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, "You didn't ruin Valentine's Day - yet. Check out these foolproof last-minute dessert recipes," 12 Feb. 2018 With the mixer on medium-low speed, add the vanilla extract; then add the eggs one at a time. Melissa, Good Housekeeping, "Chocolate Sundae Cupcakes," 7 Nov. 2017 Add in vanilla extract, peanut butter, and whipped cream, and continue to mix. Danielle Tullo, Cosmopolitan, "No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie Is Perfect For Anyone Who Thinks They Can't Make Pie," 22 Nov. 2016 Add the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Redbook, "A Healthier Treat: Avocado Chocolate Chip Cookies," 5 Mar. 2013 Beat in the eggs and yolks, one at a time, and add the vanilla extract. Country Living, "Pie Recipes," 14 July 2012 Yet another fan favorite, this skin-brightening serum is known for its eight active ingredients: vitamin C, vitamin E, konjac root, ferulic acid, hyaluronic acid, grapefruit, chamomile extract, and clary sage. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Whole Foods' Annual Beauty Week Event Has Arrived and Every Product Is on Sale," 12 Mar. 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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Statistics for extract

Last Updated

18 Apr 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 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

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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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