extract

verb
ex·​tract | \ ik-ˈstrakt How to pronounce extract (audio) , usually in sense 5 ˈek-ˌstrakt \
extracted; extracting; extracts

Definition of extract

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to draw forth (as by research) extract data
b : to pull or take out forcibly extracted a wisdom tooth
c : to obtain by much effort from someone unwilling extracted a confession
2a : to withdraw (something, such as a juice or a constituent element) by physical or chemical process
b : to treat with a solvent so as to remove a soluble substance
3 : to separate (a metal) from an ore
4 : to determine (a mathematical root) by calculation
5 : to select (excerpts) and copy out or cite

extract

noun
ex·​tract | \ ˈek-ˌstrakt How to pronounce extract (audio) \

Definition of extract (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a selection from a writing or discourse : excerpt
2 : a product (such as an essence or concentrate) prepared by extracting especially : a solution (as in alcohol) of essential constituents of a complex material (such as meat or an aromatic plant)

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Other Words from extract

Verb

extractability \ ik-​ˌstrak-​tə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce extract (audio) , (ˌ)ek-​ \ noun
extractable \ ik-​ˈstrak-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce extract (audio) , ˈek-​ˌstrak-​ \ adjective

Synonyms for extract

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

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Choose the Right Synonym for extract

Verb

educe, evoke, elicit, extract, extort mean to draw out something hidden, latent, or reserved. educe implies the bringing out of something potential or latent. educed order out of chaos evoke implies a strong stimulus that arouses an emotion or an interest or recalls an image or memory. a song that evokes warm memories elicit usually implies some effort or skill in drawing forth a response. careful questioning elicited the truth extract implies the use of force or pressure in obtaining answers or information. extracted a confession from him extort suggests a wringing or wresting from one who resists strongly. extorted their cooperation by threatening to inform

Do you exact or extract revenge?

The verb exact (as in, "exacting revenge" or "exacting a promise") is not as commonly encountered as the adjective exact, (as in "an exact copy" or "exact measurements"). Sometimes people will mistakenly use the more common verb extract when they really want exact. Extract can refer to removing something by pulling or cutting or to getting information from someone who does not want to give it. While both words refer to getting something they are used in different ways. You extract a tooth, but you exact revenge.

The Crisscrossing Histories of Abstract and Extract

Verb

Abstract is most frequently used as an adjective (“abstract ideas”) and a noun (“an abstract of the article”), but its somewhat less common use as a verb in English helps to clarify its Latin roots. The verb abstract is used to mean “summarize,” as in “abstracting an academic paper.” This meaning is a figurative derivative of the verb’s meanings “to remove” or “to separate.”

We trace the origins of abstract to the combination of the Latin roots ab-, a prefix meaning “from” or “away,” with the verb trahere, meaning “to pull” or “to draw.” The result was the Latin verb abstrahere, which meant “to remove forcibly” or “to drag away.” Its past participle abstractus had the meanings “removed,” “secluded,” “incorporeal,” and, ultimately, “summarized,” meanings which came to English from Medieval Latin.

Interestingly, the word passed from Latin into French with competing spellings as both abstract (closer to the Latin) and abstrait (which reflected the French form of abstrahere, abstraire), the spelling retained in modern French.

The idea of “removing” or “pulling away” connects abstract to extract, which stems from Latin through the combination of trahere with the prefix ex-, meaning “out of” or “away from.” Extract forms a kind of mirror image of abstract: more common as a verb, but also used as a noun and adjective. The adjective, meaning “derived or descended,” is now obsolete, as is a sense of the noun that overlapped with abstract, “summary.” The words intersected and have separated in modern English, but it’s easy to see that abstract applies to something that has been summarized, and summarized means “extracted from a larger work.”

Examples of extract in a Sentence

Verb He extracted a credit card from his wallet. I had to have a tooth extracted. The tumor was surgically extracted. We finally extracted a confession from him. Investigators were able to extract useful information from the company's financial records. They are hoping to extract new insights from the test results. The machines extract the juice from the apples. oil extracted from sunflower seeds venom extracted from poisonous snakes Noun The recipe calls for a tablespoon of vanilla extract. the anthology includes a long extract from the epic poem
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Walsh scored a win on housing when lawmakers agreed this year to give the city more authority to extract affordable housing commitments from developers. BostonGlobe.com, 18 Oct. 2021 But because of rapidly rising water levels and swift currents, officials weren’t able to safely extract Rodriguez Conde’s body until about 2 p.m. Friday. Jacob Beltran, San Antonio Express-News, 15 Oct. 2021 As the entire wine production process was done manually, grapes were crushed barefoot to extract their liquid on a treading floor, which stood next to compartments where the wine was fermented and octagonal vats where it was then collected. Jeevan Ravindran, CNN, 12 Oct. 2021 Pushaina used a fish bone to scrape a fruit peel known as a taza de mono — a monkey’s cup — to extract a juice used in traditional medicine to treat stomachaches and child malnutrition. Washington Post, 12 Oct. 2021 This looks like a trap game for Dallas, with their former head coach positioned to extract at least a measure of revenge. Jarrett Bell, USA TODAY, 11 Oct. 2021 The solution processes the sound to extract the most subtle beats, tones and sounds that can be lost during the playback process. Mark Sparrow, Forbes, 9 Oct. 2021 Hickey also tried to extract the bill from committee to be heard by the full Senate after the panel voted down the unamended version, but that motion failed. Jeannie Roberts, Arkansas Online, 6 Oct. 2021 And the companies are thinking about reverberations: If crews extract big gains, other Hollywood unions are going to demand similar treatment. New York Times, 4 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Another supplement that's frequently advertised as improving brain function is ginkgo biloba, a tree whose leaves are used to make an extract that has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. Jes Skolnik, Allure, 23 Sep. 2021 Users describe their experience with the ibogaine extract as being in an intense waking dream. San Diego Union-Tribune, 11 Sep. 2021 The formula also calms skin with holy basil extract and chamomile. Erica Metzger, Better Homes & Gardens, 9 Sep. 2021 Similar to the lip balm, the Hydrating Eye Cream is also infused with Terminalia arjuna bark extract, aloe vera, and jojoba and hemp seed oils. Gabi Thorne, Allure, 8 Sep. 2021 Infused with grape seed extract to help improve skin firmness and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Joseph Deacetis, Forbes, 5 July 2021 The maraschino cherries that most of us know from ice cream sundaes and banana splits are made by curing the fresh cherries in brine before preserving them in sugar syrup flavored with almond extract or other flavors. Sheri Castle, Southern Living, 15 June 2021 They are infused with hyaluronic acid, caffeine and marshmallow extract, which help hydrate, depuff and soften the delicate under eye area. Nicole Saunders, NBC News, 9 Apr. 2021 It's meant to smooth and brighten the skin while simultaneously soothing redness with with its lemongrass extract. Arielle Tschinkel And Nicole Briese, USA TODAY, 16 Mar. 2021

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

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for extract

Verb

Middle English, from Latin extractus, past participle of extrahere, from ex- + trahere to draw

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Time Traveler for extract

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near extract

extracranial

extract

extraction

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Statistics for extract

Last Updated

21 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Extract.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/extract. Accessed 25 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for extract

extract

verb

English Language Learners Definition of extract

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to remove (something) by pulling it out or cutting it out
: to get (information, a response, etc.) from someone who does not want to give it
: to get (something, such as information) from something

extract

noun

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

: a substance that you get from something by using a machine or chemicals
: a short piece of writing that is taken from a longer work (such as a book)

extract

verb
ex·​tract | \ ik-ˈstrakt How to pronounce extract (audio) \
extracted; extracting

Kids Definition of extract

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to remove by pulling extract a tooth
2 : to get out by pressing, distilling, or by a chemical process extract juice
3 : to choose and take out for separate use He extracted a few lines from a poem.

extract

noun
ex·​tract | \ ˈek-ˌstrakt How to pronounce extract (audio) \

Kids Definition of extract (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a selection from a writing
2 : a product obtained by pressing, distilling, or by a chemical process vanilla extract

extract

transitive verb
ex·​tract | \ ik-ˈstrakt How to pronounce extract (audio) \

Medical Definition of extract

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to pull or take out forcibly extracted a wisdom tooth
2 : to withdraw (as the medicinally active components of a plant or animal tissue) by physical or chemical process also : to treat with a solvent so as to remove a soluble substance

Other Words from extract

extractability \ ik-​ˌstrak-​tə-​ˈbil-​ət-​ē, (ˌ)ek-​ How to pronounce extract (audio) \ noun, plural extractabilities
extractable also extractible \ ik-​ˈstrak-​tə-​bəl, ˈek-​ˌ How to pronounce extract (audio) \ adjective

extract

noun
ex·​tract | \ ˈek-ˌstrakt How to pronounce extract (audio) \

Medical Definition of extract (Entry 2 of 2)

: something prepared by extracting especially : a medicinally active pharmaceutical solution

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extract

noun
ex·​tract | \ ˈek-ˌstrakt How to pronounce extract (audio) \

Legal Definition of extract

: a certified copy of a document that forms part of or is preserved in a public record

More from Merriam-Webster on extract

Nglish: Translation of extract for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of extract for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about extract

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