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 According to a Huntsville Fire & Rescue Facebook post, technical rescue crews deployed a haul system to extract the caver to safety. Matt Wake | Mwake@al.com, al, "Caver rescued on Monte Sano mountain in Huntsville," 3 Jan. 2021 While hurricanes extract heat from the ocean, maritime cyclones create energy by drawing together warm and cold air masses. Author: Jason Samenow, Andrew Freedman, Anchorage Daily News, "‘Bomb cyclone’ builds in Aleutian Islands, becoming strongest storm on record to hit Alaska," 31 Dec. 2020 While China indeed has a commanding position in the production and processing of the two elements, cobalt can be swapped for alternatives such as nickel, and lithium itself is not particularly difficult to extract. Jordan Mcgillis, National Review, "Biden’s Electric-Vehicle Plan Misses the Mark," 29 Dec. 2020 In the third, Nestlé USA v. Doe, former African child slaves are attempting to extract damages from American chocolate companies. Nicholas Rowan, Washington Examiner, "The biggest Supreme Court cases of 2021," 28 Dec. 2020 The goal is to remove the oil gland and cloaca while also creating a hole to extract the innards. Natalie Krebs, Outdoor Life, "How to Wax-Pluck a Wild Goose for Christmas Dinner," 23 Dec. 2020 Coastal nations have exclusive rights to fish and extract mineral resources from their territorial waters and exclusive economic zones, which can extend up to 200 nautical miles from their shores. Environment, "In rare show of solidarity, 14 key nations commit to protect oceans," 4 Dec. 2020 Also outside the courtroom, some want the Biden administration to use the legal pressure that’s being exerted on oil companies to extract concessions as part of a broader climate deal. Kurtis Alexander, SFChronicle.com, "Biden could help San Francisco win billions from Big Oil over climate change," 2 Dec. 2020 The doctor made a uterine incision on the woman’s body to extract the fetal arms, then grasped the baby’s feet and pulled him from the womb upside down, delivering him into the era of coronavirus. Alice Driver, Longreads, "Motherhood on the Line," 2 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Once everything is creamy and smooth, add the vanilla extract, stir to combine, and take the cocoa off the heat. Serve! Sara Chodosh, Popular Science, "Instant hot cocoa is a starchy disaster. Here’s how to make your own.," 23 Dec. 2020 The cleanser is also made with green tea extract to soothe skin irritation. Landon Groves, chicagotribune.com, "Murad Clarifying Cleanser review: Can this cleanser reduce breakouts and excess oil?," 18 Nov. 2020 It’s made with tea tree oil and willow bark extract for a deep clean that removes buildup while calming the scalp without damaging your color. Kiana Murden, CNN Underscored, "The best dandruff shampoos, according to dermatologists," 26 Oct. 2020 Whisk 1 cup confectioner’s sugar with 1 teaspoon milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract until well combined. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "After you get the apple cider, it’s time to make doughnuts," 20 Oct. 2020 The mist also comes loaded with antioxidant-rich peach extract, calming centella asiatica, brightening licorice and lotus root, and skin-barrier-fortifying ceramides and vitamin E. Sarah Han, Allure, "Peach & Lily's New Glass Skin Face Mist Gave Me Glowing Skin All Day," 27 Aug. 2020 Free of sulfates and parabens, these all-natural eye stickers—shaped like shooting stars and infused with gold, rose flower oil, and bitter cherry extract—deliver a double-tap-worthy glow. Zoe Ruffner, Vogue, "19 Under-Eye Patches to Banish Puffiness Once and for All," 23 Dec. 2020 Add the eggs, oil and vanilla extract and beat vigorously with a whisk until smooth and thoroughly combined. Washington Post, "This apple and pear cake recipe was a family mystery, until I cracked its delicious code," 16 Dec. 2020 These classic lemon sugar cookies receive an extra kick from lemon oil extract. Paul Stephen, ExpressNews.com, "Recipe: Lemon Sugar Cookies," 9 Dec. 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

6 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Extract.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/extract. Accessed 15 Jan. 2021.

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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 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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Comments on extract

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