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 extract (audio) , (ˌ)ek-​ \ noun
extractable \ ik-​ˈstrak-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce extract (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 Correa was sentenced in absentia in April to eight years in prison for his role in a scheme to extract millions of dollars from businessmen in exchange for infrastructure projects — money allegedly used for political purposes. Star Tribune, "Leftist leads in early returns for Ecuador presidential vote," 7 Feb. 2021 As reported in the Astrophysical Journalin December 2020, Saracco’s team managed to extract some juicy details out of C1-23152. Robin George Andrews, Scientific American, "Giant Galaxies from the Universe’s Childhood Challenge Cosmic Origin Stories," 27 Jan. 2021 That’s in contrast to the US shale industry, which relies on fracking to extract oil and gas out of formations. Michael J. Coren, Quartz, "The US oil industry is flailing despite a $10 billion pandemic lifeline," 23 Nov. 2020 So any new electrical technology is likely to face some struggles as its customers learn to use it effectively and understand how to extract the most value out of it. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "First major modular nuclear project having difficulty retaining backers," 7 Nov. 2020 For example, carbon-capture farms featuring direct-air-capture machines – huge fans that extract carbon dioxide back out of the air. CBS News, "For many climate change finally hits home," 18 Oct. 2020 Some companies, such as state-run Indian Oil Corp. and NTPC Ltd. and private firm Praj Industries Ltd., have been working on solutions to extract energy out of crop waste. Rajesh Kumar Singh, Bloomberg.com, "Dubai Firm Trains Sight on India’s Deadly Winter Smog Problem," 9 Oct. 2020 Citing interviews and emails, the subcommittee accused Amazon of discriminating against major competitors through its advertising arm and of using its dominance in some areas to extract advantages in others. Dana Mattioli, WSJ, "Amazon Accused of Using Monopoly Power as E-Commerce ‘Gatekeeper’," 7 Oct. 2020 The companies work closely to extract as much efficiency as possible out of every cell that goes into a Tesla. Roberto Baldwin, Car and Driver, "Tesla Tells Us How It Keeps Beating Nearly Everyone in the Range Game," 18 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The herbal extract, otherwise known as Indian frankincense, is used to reduce inflammation and to treat arthritis, asthma and inflammatory bowel disease. Erin Alberty, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Utah pharmacist gets probation for illegally importing drug that officials wanted to use for COVID-19," 5 Apr. 2021 In a chocolate cake video posted before Valentine’s Day, Lynzi moves as if dancing, drizzling vanilla extract into a mixing bowl and unveiling the cake from the oven in slow motion. Sara Cagle, Los Angeles Times, "‘Thank God for social media’: How TikTok cooking stars are defying the traditional career path," 1 Apr. 2021 The watermelon extract in this mask plumps and adds volume to thin, fine hair. Samantha Driscoll, Better Homes & Gardens, "The Most Hydrating Hair Masks to Nourish Your Dry, Damaged Strands," 31 Mar. 2021 The shampoos and conditioners are formulated focusing on natural ingredients like coconut oil, ginger root extract, and shea butter, without the use of parabens or sodium lauryl sulfate. Sarah Midkiff, refinery29.com, "This Trendy New Zealand Hair Brand Just Dropped At Your Local Shoppers Drug Mart," 22 Mar. 2021 The ingredients in its wipes include citric acid, lemon grass extract, water and soap bark. Patrick Danner, San Antonio Express-News, "H-E-B, Beaumont company wrangle over disinfecting wipes," 9 Mar. 2021 Citing medical study support, Ross also recommends probiotics, chasteberry, royal jelly, passion flower extract, and calcium as other helpful ways to treat some of the common symptoms of PMS. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "How Pandemic Stress Is Impacting Your Period Symptoms—And the Best Way to Treat Them," 20 Feb. 2021 Just Like Parmesan is made of sort of random stuff like potato starch, rice starch, coconut oil, olive extract, and salt, plus a slightly mysterious proprietary flavoring agent called Parmezan Flavor. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "This Vegan Parmesan Cheese Tastes Freakishly Like the Real Thing," 22 Dec. 2020 Vanilla – as in extract, not a sweet or oaky flavor – and sarsaparilla / root beer with caramel in the deep background. Marc Bona, cleveland, "13 different beers for March," 7 Mar. 2021

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

12 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Extract.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/extract. Accessed 16 Apr. 2021.

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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 extract (audio) \ noun, plural extractabilities
extractable also extractible \ ik-​ˈstrak-​tə-​bəl, ˈek-​ˌ How to pronounce extract (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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