ex·​tri·​cate | \ ˈek-strə-ˌkāt How to pronounce extricate (audio) \
extricated; extricating

Definition of extricate

transitive verb

1 : to free or remove from an entanglement or difficulty
2a : to distinguish from a related thing
b archaic : unravel

Other Words from extricate

extricable \ ik-​ˈstri-​kə-​bəl How to pronounce extricate (audio) , ek-​ˈstri-​ , ˈek-​(ˌ)stri-​ How to pronounce extricate (audio) \ adjective
extrication \ ˌek-​strə-​ˈkā-​shən How to pronounce extricate (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for extricate

extricate, disentangle, untangle, disencumber, disembarrass mean to free from what binds or holds back. extricate implies the use of care or ingenuity in freeing from a difficult position or situation. extricated himself from financial difficulties disentangle and untangle suggest painstaking separation of a thing from other things. disentangling fact from fiction untangle a web of deceit disencumber implies a release from something that clogs or weighs down. an article disencumbered of jargon disembarrass suggests a release from something that impedes or hinders. disembarrassed herself of her advisers

Did you know?

Extricate is used for the act of freeing someone or something from a tangled situation. Its spelling and meaning comes from Latin extricatus, which combines the prefix ex- ("out of") with the noun tricae, meaning "trifles or perplexities." The resemblance of tricae to trick is no illusion—it's an ancestor.

Examples of extricate in a Sentence

Several survivors were extricated from the wreckage. They extricated the tractor from the mud. She hasn't been able to extricate herself from her legal problems.
Recent Examples on the Web Over the course of 18 days, thousands of volunteers, including more than 100 divers, helped in the effort to extricate the soccer team amid monsoon rains. Paddy O'connell, Outside Online, 4 Aug. 2022 Officials had to extricate one person from the car, who was hospitalized. Angie Dimichele, Sun Sentinel, 29 July 2022 The only question today is whether Musk can extricate himself, or more precisely, at what price. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 8 July 2022 Then there is the Middle East, from which America has been trying to extricate itself for years. Stephen Collinson, CNN, 25 Jan. 2022 Firefighters and lifeguards were still working to extricate the person . Wendy Fry, San Diego Union-Tribune, 9 July 2022 The Bristol Fire Department was able to extricate the 61-year-old. Mike Mavredakis, Hartford Courant, 1 July 2022 It was stuck between the tire wall and the fence, delaying efforts to extricate Zhou. Mark Heim | Mheim@al.com, al, 3 July 2022 In November 2020, after Donald Trump narrowly lost Georgia, the president embarked first on an intense pressure campaign to get Kemp to convene a special legislative session to extricate Trump from his own defeat. The Editors, National Review, 20 May 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'extricate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of extricate

1601, in the meaning defined at sense 2b

History and Etymology for extricate

Latin extricatus, past participle of extricare, from ex- + tricae trifles, perplexities

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Time Traveler for extricate

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The first known use of extricate was in 1601

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Last Updated

12 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Extricate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/extricate. Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for extricate


ex·​tri·​cate | \ ˈek-strə-ˌkāt How to pronounce extricate (audio) \
extricated; extricating

Kids Definition of extricate

: to free from a trap or difficulty

More from Merriam-Webster on extricate

Nglish: Translation of extricate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of extricate for Arabic Speakers


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