extricate

verb
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

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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?

It can take an ample amount of dexterity - manual, verbal, or mental - to free yourself from a tangled situation. This can be seen in extricate, a word derived from Latin extricatus, which combines the prefix ex- ("out of") with the noun tricae, meaning "trifles or perplexities." (The resemblance of tricae to our word trick is no illusion; it’s an ancestor.) While a number of words (such as "disentangle") share with extricate the meaning of "to free from difficulty," extricate suggests the act of doing so with care and ingenuity, as in "Through months of careful budgeting, he was able to extricate himself from his financial burdens."

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Uncovering Your Natural Goodness, developed the R.A.I.N. process to extricate us from the stress/anxiety hydraulic, clear our heads and concentrate in the present moment. Bryan Robinson, Forbes, 6 June 2021 While the board generally tries to extricate itself from partisan politics, because regents are nominated by the governor, members are seen in the public eye in terms of which governor appointed them. Devi Shastri, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 5 June 2021 Several people were trapped in their homes, Sheriff Greg Pollan told NBC News, and first responders had to extricate them. NBC News, 3 May 2021 Firefighters had to extricate her from the silver KIA Soul and bring her up to the road to assess her injuries. Lauryn Schroeder, San Diego Union-Tribune, 11 Apr. 2021 The Gaetz drama has become an inflection point for the GOP — testing whether the party can extricate itself from the most troublesome Trump hangers-on, or if the former president has created an effective template for their durability. Evan Halper, Los Angeles Times, 7 Apr. 2021 San Antonio firefighters had to extricate the two from the vehicle, but were found dead inside. Taylor Pettaway, San Antonio Express-News, 10 Mar. 2021 Fire authorities had to extricate Woods from the vehicle. Mike Brest, Washington Examiner, 23 Feb. 2021 Last week, when violence erupted, Marsiano drove to her son’s house in a nearby neighborhood to extricate him, his wife, and their baby while fire raged outside their building. Ruth Margalit, The New Yorker, 20 May 2021

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.

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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

Time Traveler

The first known use of extricate was in 1601

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Last Updated

13 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Extricate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/extricate. Accessed 20 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for extricate

extricate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of extricate

: to free or remove (someone or something) from something (such as a trap or a difficult situation)

extricate

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

Kids Definition of extricate

: to free from a trap or difficulty

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