ex·​trac·​tive | \ ik-ˈstrak-tiv How to pronounce extractive (audio) , ˈek-ˌstrak-\

Definition of extractive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : of, relating to, or involving extraction
b : tending toward or resulting in withdrawal of natural resources by extraction with no provision for replenishment extractive agriculture
2 : capable of being extracted



Definition of extractive (Entry 2 of 2)

: something extracted or extractable : extract

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Other Words from extractive


extractively adverb

Examples of extractive in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

This combination makes Wisconsin sand ideal for use in another extractive industry: hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in the quest for natural gas and oil. Geoffrey Giller, Discover Magazine, "The Midwestern Sand Mines Feeding the Fracking Industry," 26 Apr. 2019 Regenerative farming is possible on many different scales, and the bringing back biodiversity while farming land in a non-extractive method is also possible. Belinda Luscombe, Time, "The Problem with $3 Cartons of Eggs, According to a Farmer," 10 June 2019 There’s an extractive process for material resources, one for data, and one for human labor. James Vincent, The Verge, "This beautiful map shows everything that powers an Amazon Echo, from data mines to lakes of lithium," 9 Sep. 2018 Before data mining was the preferred extractive industry of the Santa Clara Valley, mineral extraction built one of the region’s earliest variations of the company town. Ingrid Burrington, The Atlantic, "Who Gets to Live in Silicon Valley?," 25 June 2018 Highlighting our industry’s economic clout is probably the best way to counter the other economic forces competing for the use of our public lands: extractive industries like oil and gas development and mining. Alex Honnold, Outside Online, "Alex Honnold to Politicos: Leave Our Public Lands Alone," 25 May 2018 The administration sold off land, cleared a path for extractive industries. Leah Sottile, Longreads, "Bundyville Chapter Three: A Clan Not to Cross," 17 May 2018 The Terrys’ tree-sit isn’t Appalachia’s first sally against an extractive industry. Sarah Jones, The New Republic, "Whose Appalachia Is It, Anyway?," 8 May 2018 And communities may have high expectations regarding the amount of work and public benefits that extractive projects offer — but then these expectations are not met because of neglect, corruption and poorly performing government. Renard Sexton, Washington Post, "China is fueling a new ‘resource curse’ — and riots around the world," 25 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

That changed too, as jobs were lost to free trade and extractive industries like mining promised to replace them. Jennifer Szalai, New York Times, "How Conservatives Bet Big on Wisconsin and Won," 11 July 2018 This, plus the breakneck growth of extractive industries, explains why African forests are disappearing at a rate of 0.5% a year, faster than in South America. The Economist, "Africa’s big carbon emitters admit they have a problem," 21 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'extractive.' 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 extractive


1599, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1810, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for extractive

Last Updated

30 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for extractive

The first known use of extractive was in 1599

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More Definitions for extractive


ex·​trac·​tive | \ ik-ˈstrak-tiv, ˈek-ˌ How to pronounce extractive (audio) \

Medical Definition of extractive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: of, relating to, or involving extraction extractive processes



Medical Definition of extractive (Entry 2 of 2)

: something extracted or extractable : extract

More from Merriam-Webster on extractive

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with extractive

Comments on extractive

What made you want to look up extractive? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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