extricate

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

Definition of extricate

transitive verb

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

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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

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 Companies and banks doing business with Iran will have to scramble to extricate themselves or run afoul of the U.S. government. Catherine Lucey And Josh Lederman, chicagotribune.com, "Trump warns Iran against resuming nuclear program," 9 May 2018 The driver of the truck, Larry Wendell Fincher, was extricated from the vehicle and taken to Redmond Regional Medical Center, according to the report. Raisa Habersham, ajc, "High school senior killed in wreck days before graduation," 22 May 2018 Tugboats were hired to extricate the ship, military spokesman Col. Jim Gomez, The Seattle Times, "Philippines extricates warship from South China Sea shoal," 3 Sep. 2018 Looks like Betty will have her hands full extricating her family — including those babies — from the grips of the farm this season. Jessica Macleish, Teen Vogue, "12 Things We Know About “Riverdale” Season 3 So Far," 28 Aug. 2018 This short addition will go from the tunnel to a separate piece of property that the company recently purchased, so the company can extricate its tunneling machine. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Boring Company approved to build a tunnel entrance inside a residential garage," 13 Sep. 2018 Two occupants of the vehicle were trapped inside but were extricated and taken to hospitals with injuries described as not life-threatening. Washington Post, "Four men are shot in Northeast D.C.," 30 Apr. 2018 Yet Trump's demeanor gave the impression that he was stuck in a corner, contemplating extreme measures to extricate himself and may be beyond convincing otherwise. Stephen Collinson, CNN, "Trump lashes out as Cohen raid fuses Russia probe and Stormy case," 10 Apr. 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 1a

History and Etymology for extricate

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

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Last Updated

13 Feb 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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