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

If dousing with vinegar does not fully remove the tentacles, a piece of fabric or tweezers (but never your fingers) can be used to extricate any jellyfish remnants from skin. Michele Chabin, Washington Post, "How to handle the worldwide jellyfish threat (no, don’t treat stings with urine)," 5 July 2019 Firefighters were called to extricate the boy, who died at the scene, police said. Evan Macdonald, cleveland.com, "15-year-old boy dies after car crashes into tree in North Ridgeville," 2 July 2019 Your neighbors, and their guests, will then need to interrupt the festivities to extricate you. Judith Martin, The Mercury News, "Miss Manners: A memorable way to keep neighbors’ guests from blocking the driveway," 19 June 2019 Fireman secured the truck to prevent it from falling and then extricated the 24-year-old male driver from the back window of the vehicle. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Driver in DUI arrest rescued in near-plunge from San Marcos parking garage," 15 June 2019 And the film’s arm’s-length approach in one sense serves an important purpose, extricating the music from the inevitably gossip-heavy stories of the road and the personal pain that went into them. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "“Rolling Thunder Revue,” Reviewed: Martin Scorsese’s Slippery Chronicle of Bob Dylan in Concert," 14 June 2019 But Judge Koschik rejected the exit plan, a victory for federal and state regulators who accused FirstEnergy of abusing bankruptcy law to try to extricate itself from the money-losing power facilities. Andrew Scurria, WSJ, "FirstEnergy’s Bankruptcy Deal With Power Units Collapses," 4 Apr. 2019 Efforts to extricate the hiker, who was injured, lasted just over one hour, officials said. Andres Picon, BostonGlobe.com, "Hiker saved after falling 60 feet off cliff in Chesterfield," 9 July 2018 Companies and banks doing business with Iran will have to scramble to extricate themselves or run afoul of the U.S. government. Washington Post, "Trump warns Iran against resuming nuclear program," 9 May 2018

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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Statistics for extricate

Last Updated

17 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for extricate

The first known use of extricate was in 1601

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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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Comments on extricate

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an act or instance of editing or removing

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