ex·​cerpt | \ ˈek-ˌsərpt How to pronounce excerpt (audio) , ˈeg-ˌzərpt How to pronounce excerpt (audio) \

Definition of excerpt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a passage (as from a book or musical composition) selected, performed, or copied : extract


ex·​cerpt | \ ek-ˈsərpt How to pronounce excerpt (audio) , eg-ˈzərpt How to pronounce excerpt (audio) , ˈek-ˌsərpt How to pronounce excerpt (audio) , ˈeg-ˌzərpt How to pronounce excerpt (audio) \
excerpted; excerpting; excerpts

Definition of excerpt (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to select (a passage) for quoting : extract
2 : to take or publish extracts from (something, such as a book)

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Other Words from excerpt


excerptor or excerpter noun
excerption \ ek-​ˈsərp-​shən How to pronounce excerpt (audio) , eg-​ˈzərp-​ \ noun

Synonyms for excerpt

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of excerpt in a Sentence

Noun Among the excerpts and Twitter feeds and author interviews … there was the actor Will Smith praising The Alchemist as one of his favorite books. — Gregory Cowles, New York Times Book Review, 18 Oct. 2009 When his [Thomas Jefferson's] wife Martha died in 1782, he wrapped a lock of her hair with a scrap of paper containing an excerpt from the couple's favorite novel, Laurence Sterne's comic masterpiece, Tristram Shandy, and stashed the token in his desk. — Walter Kim, Time, 5 July 2004 The exemplary figure here is Norman Mailer, whose 1959 Advertisements for Myself is the height of writerly chutzpah. The book, comprising excerpts from his journalism and fiction, descriptions of the agonies he went through to produce them and obsessive reviews of his reviewers, is so shameless it's admirable. — Judith Shulevitz, New York Times Book Review, 17 June 2001 … I also keep a pad by the side of my bed for writing down great thoughts at night without having to turn on the light. In the morning, these great thoughts sound like excerpts from the Dead Sea Scrolls. — Bill Cosby, Time Flies, (1987) 1988 She read an excerpt from the play. I've read only excerpts of Moby-Dick, never the whole book. Verb The fiction that the magazine does publish is too often excerpted from novels or imminently forthcoming collections, making the magazine seem more a flack for publishers than a site of editorial strength and vision. — Vince Passaro, Harper's, August 1999 How quickly does the Net move? Last Friday journalist Michael Colton posted an elaborate Web parody of the forthcoming magazine Talk, which is owned by Miramax and helmed by former New Yorker editor Tina Brown. Within hours, the site's URL had ricocheted about in countless e-mails, and the Drudge Report had excerpted the text. Newsweek, 26 July 1999
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Here, in an exclusive excerpt, read the first chapter of the fascinating tome. EW.com, 8 Oct. 2021 In an exclusive excerpt from his new memoir, Play Nice But Win, the billionaire founder of Dell Computers recalls a 2013 showdown with the infamous corporate raider to thwart a takeover. Michael Dell, Forbes, 7 Oct. 2021 Read on for an exclusive excerpt from Krieger’s book. David Browne, Rolling Stone, 5 Oct. 2021 Here is an excerpt: Jonathan Mirsky worked in China, coming and going, for almost 20 years. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, 1 Oct. 2021 Keep reading for an exclusive excerpt from Her Last Affair. People Staff, PEOPLE.com, 30 Sep. 2021 Below is an excerpt from a Communication and Literacy Skills practice test of the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure. BostonGlobe.com, 4 Aug. 2021 Scroll down to read a brief excerpt of Cecilia Lei’s interview with Gabrielle Lurie, and click the player or the app badges above to listen to the full story. Fifth & Mission Podcast, San Francisco Chronicle, 24 Sep. 2021 Here is a relevant excerpt from the NFL's COVID-19 protocol on how a player in Cowboys LB Keanu Neal's situation can rejoin the team. Calvin Watkins, Dallas News, 22 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In other words, Google's copying of API code was OK in the same way that Data Sheet can excerpt reporting from across the web without fear of getting sued. Robert Hackett, Fortune, 6 Apr. 2021 This analysis was excerpted from the June 1 edition of CNN's Meanwhile in America, the daily email about US politics for global readers. Stephen Collinson, CNN, 1 June 2020 Below is the four-part Heritage plan for reopening some businesses, excerpted from the report: Businesses in counties with low incidences should be allowed to reopen. Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner, 20 Apr. 2020 One story from the collection, excerpted in The White Review earlier this year, is told in the style of a brain surgeon’s FAQ for patients. Dana Snitzky, Longreads, 19 Mar. 2020 The letters excerpted here are from a handful of detainees at the Harris County Jail, the second largest in the country and the site of a fast-moving outbreak of COVID-19. Ian Macdougall, ProPublica, 1 May 2012 The group will distribute the guideline excerpts that have appeared on the Internet. Margaret Newkirk, Bloomberg.com, 8 May 2020 Below, excerpted from Lesser’s book, are her three top recommendations in the genre. Paula L. Woods, Los Angeles Times, 1 May 2020 This story has been excerpted from Daniel Mason’s forthcoming collection, A Registry of My Passage Upon the Earth. Daniel Mason, The Atlantic, 6 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'excerpt.' 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 excerpt


1627, in the meaning defined above


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for excerpt

Verb and Noun

Latin excerptus, past participle of excerpere, from ex- + carpere to gather, pluck — more at harvest

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Time Traveler for excerpt

Time Traveler

The first known use of excerpt was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near excerpt




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Statistics for excerpt

Last Updated

15 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Excerpt.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/excerpt. Accessed 21 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for excerpt



English Language Learners Definition of excerpt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a small part of a longer written work



English Language Learners Definition of excerpt (Entry 2 of 2)

: to include (part of a longer written work) in something else

More from Merriam-Webster on excerpt

Nglish: Translation of excerpt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of excerpt for Arabic Speakers


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