extract

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Latin extractum, neuter perfect passive participle of extrahō.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

extract (plural extracts)

  1. That which is extracted or drawn out.
  2. A portion of a book or document, incorporated distinctly in another work; a citation; a quotation.
  3. A decoction, solution, or infusion made by drawing out from any substance that which gives it its essential and characteristic virtue; essence; as, extract of beef; extract of dandelion; also, any substance so extracted, and characteristic of that from which it is obtained; as, quinine is the most important extract of Peruvian bark.
  4. A solid preparation obtained by evaporating a solution of a drug, etc., or the fresh juice of a plant; -- distinguished from an abstract.
  5. (obsolete) A peculiar principle (fundamental essence) once erroneously supposed to form the basis of all vegetable extracts; -- called also the extractive principle.
  6. Ancestry; descent.
  7. A draft or copy of writing; a certified copy of the proceedings in an action and the judgment therein, with an order for execution.

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Verb[edit]

extract (third-person singular simple present extracts, present participle extracting, simple past and past participle extracted)

  1. (transitive) To draw out or forth; to pull out; to remove forcibly from a fixed position, as by traction or suction, etc.
    to extract a tooth from its socket, a stump from the earth, or a splinter from the finger
    • Milton
      The bee / Sits on the bloom extracting liquid sweet.
    • 2013 August 3, “Yesterday’s fuel”, The Economist, volume 408, number 8847: 
      The dawn of the oil age was fairly recent. Although the stuff was used to waterproof boats in the Middle East 6,000 years ago, extracting it in earnest began only in 1859 after an oil strike in Pennsylvania. The first barrels of crude fetched $18 (around $450 at today’s prices).
  2. (transitive) To withdraw by expression, distillation, or other mechanical or chemical process. Compare abstract (transitive verb).
    to extract an essential oil from a plant
    • 2013 June 29, “A punch in the gut”, The Economist, volume 407, number 8842, page 72-3: 
      Mostly, the microbiome is beneficial. It helps with digestion and enables people to extract a lot more calories from their food than would otherwise be possible. Research over the past few years, however, has implicated it in diseases from atherosclerosis to asthma to autism.
  3. (transitive) To take by selection; to choose out; to cite or quote, as a passage from a book.
    • Jonathan Swift
      I have extracted out of that pamphlet a few notorious falsehoods.
  4. (transitive, arithmetic) To determine (a root of a number).
    Please extract the cube root of 27.

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Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.