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 The rules would allow private companies to extract lunar resources, create safety zones to prevent conflict and ensure that countries act transparently about their plans in space and share their scientific discoveries. Washington Post, "Seven nations join the U.S. in signing the Artemis Accords, creating a legal framework for behavior in space," 13 Oct. 2020 The mine also expected to extract salt and magnesium chloride. Brian Maffly, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Big Utah potash project collapses for lack of investors," 11 Oct. 2020 Strain and lightly press blueberries to extract the essence, without crushing the seeds. Beth Segal, cleveland, "Peerless (and fearless) wine pairings with vegetarian meals," 8 Oct. 2020 Given Sam Lee’s prowess at squeezing cash out of ailing institutions, Prospect undoubtedly will find profits left to extract. Peter Elkind, ProPublica, "Investors Extracted $400 Million From a Hospital Chain That Sometimes Couldn’t Pay for Medical Supplies or Gas for Ambulances," 30 Sep. 2020 Similarly, insurers are now required to provide new mothers with equipment to extract breast milk and the support services to do so. Simon F. Haeder, The Conversation, "If Obamacare goes away, here are eight ways your life will be affected," 25 Sep. 2020 In order to extract resources to be consumed by wealthy economies, Indigenous homes and livelihoods are ripped apart. Whizy Kim, refinery29.com, "Individuals Can’t Heal The Climate When Capitalism Is The Virus," 25 Sep. 2020 Traffic was shut down in the area as first responders attempted to extract two occupants of the upside down vehicle. City News Service, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Fatal collision in Oceanside," 12 Sep. 2020 Plasma collectors set up shoddy centers in poor communities and later in Haiti and Central America to try to extract enough blood plasma to feed the demand for hemophilia treatments. Jillian Mock, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Peculiar 100-Plus-Year History of Convalescent Plasma," 1 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Balancing Cleansing Water has skin-soothing ingredients like cypress tree leaf extract and barrier-strengthening panthenol. Sarah Han, Allure, "The 25 Best Deals on K-Beauty Products for Amazon Prime Day," 14 Oct. 2020 The hand sanitizer is formulated with glycerin and aloe extract to ensure your hands don't dry out. Jennifer Aldrich, Better Homes & Gardens, "I Am Obsessed With Disinfecting My Hands Thanks to Sanitizer Spray," 12 Oct. 2020 For a super hydrating serum that doubles as a light moisturizer, Holifrog’s Galilee Antioxidant Dewy Drop contains aloe vera juice and a trio of emollient oils as well as antioxidant ingredients such as coenzyme Q10, squalane and green tea extract. Kerstin Czarra, New York Times, "The T List: Five Things We Recommend This Week," 8 Oct. 2020 Lending a helping hand to congested complexions, Naturopathica’s purifying treatment comes scented with a potent trio of antiseptic herbs: cinnamon bark, oregano, and rosemary extract. Zoe Ruffner, Vogue, "9 Pumpkin Skin-Care Products for Bright, Glowing Skin This Fall and Beyond," 2 Oct. 2020 My go-to recipe has a decadent coating of brown sugar, butter and vanilla extract. Daphne Sashin, CNN, "31 ways to celebrate Halloween this year," 1 Oct. 2020 Many of the higher-end products rely on what’s known as full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD extract, which contains other cannabinoids and terpenes in addition to CBD. Julia Bainbridge, WSJ, "The Best CBD Brands to Try, From Gummies to Olive Oils," 1 Oct. 2020 Look for anti-redness ingredients such as green tea, algae, oat extract or chamomile. Nicole Catanese, Good Housekeeping, "Ask an Expert: Can Stress Actually Affect My Skin?," 25 Sep. 2020 The problem is glycyrrhizic acid, found in black licorice and in many other foods and dietary supplements containing licorice root extract. NBC News, "Daily black licorice habit kills Massachusetts construction worker," 24 Sep. 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

20 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Extract.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/extract. Accessed 25 Oct. 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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