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 Physical Analyzer, one of Cellebrite’s apps that extract data from iPhones, doesn’t fully support iPhones following the Signal disclosures. Chris Smith, BGR, "Signal’s epic hack of Cellebrite already already has major consequences," 28 Apr. 2021 Justin Theroux — Paul’s nephew; both are executive producers — takes the Ford role as a disillusioned father determined to extract himself and his family from contemporary American culture, poisoned by excess and waste. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, "Don't call it a remake: Why 'The Mosquito Coast,' with Justin Theroux, is a reinvention," 26 Apr. 2021 The clarity and nuance that those two Cirrus DACs can extract from any digital music file is astonishing. Mark Sparrow, Forbes, "This Small Dongle Brings Hi-Fi Sound To Your Phone," 12 Apr. 2021 Additionally, regulators said providers can safely extract up to 11 doses from the original 10-dose vials. BostonGlobe.com, "FDA authorizes 2 changes to Moderna’s vaccine," 2 Apr. 2021 Several dredgers, including a specialized suction dredger that can extract 2,000 cubic meters of material per hour, were digging around the vessel’s bow, the company said. New York Times, "‘A Very Big Problem.’ Giant Ship in the Suez Remains Stuck.," 27 Mar. 2021 The idea that a Sheriff’s Department helicopter needs to be able to land near Villanueva’s home to quickly extract him came about in August, when a threat assessment was done to identify risks to the sheriff’s safety. Alene Tchekmedyian, Los Angeles Times, "‘This is getting stupid.’ How the quest to build a helipad next to Sheriff Villanueva’s home turned ugly," 17 Mar. 2021 The fact that some administrators happen to be able to extract that sixth dose is why there have been so many extra vaccines left over from appointments, which pharmacists have been giving away to avoid waste. Katherine Ellen Foley, Quartz, "Syringe shortages could cause Pfizer vaccine bottlenecks," 25 Feb. 2021 Two bystanders tried to extract her, only to be swept over the waterfall as well. Washington Post, "Danger lurks in national parks, but not necessarily where you expect it," 25 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In a mixing bowl with whisk attachment, combine the remaining 1 cup heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Kristen Massad, Dallas News, "Nostalgic recipe: Old-Fashioned Homemade Banana Pudding," 30 Apr. 2021 Add the maple syrup, eggs and vanilla extract and mix well. Beth Dooley Special To The Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "It's not too late to plan your Kentucky Derby party," 28 Apr. 2021 The serum contains ingredients like soybean extract and mango butter to plump the lips as well as condition them. Robin Raven, Forbes, "Mother’s Day Gift Guide: The Best Vegan Makeup For Traveling Moms," 27 Apr. 2021 Our rating: Missing context Marsh mallow plant extract once used to make marshmallow confectioneries has served as an alternative medicine for sore throats for centuries. Devon Link, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Store-bought marshmallows do not contain plant extract with medicinal qualities," 7 Apr. 2021 Vanilla beans are more flavorful than vanilla extract, and also more expensive. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "Let fruits take the cake," 6 Apr. 2021 Plus, they’re formulated to be wearable on even sensitive skin, thanks to gentle, moisturizing ingredients like mango butter and calming green tea extract. Krystin Arneson, CNN Underscored, "This Tower 28 bronzer sold out in one day — and now it’s back in 3 new shades," 6 Apr. 2021 The Draper executive shipped chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine falsely labeled as herbal extract for his no-bid contract with the state. 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 To make the project pencil out financially, the carbon dioxide pulled from the air will be injected into the ground in a way that helps Occidental extract oil that can then be sold on the market. Evan Halper, Los Angeles Times, "Clock’s running out on climate change. California says it’s time for giant carbon vacuums," 19 Apr. 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

6 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Extract.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/extract. Accessed 12 May. 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

Comments on extract

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