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  • IPA(key): /ɪkˈstɪŋkt/, /ɛkˈstɪŋkt/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪŋkt

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English extinct, from Latin extīnctus, the past participle of extinguere (to put out, destroy, abolish, extinguish), corresponding to ex- + stinguere (to quench). Replaced native Middle English aqueint, aquenched (extinguished, extinct).


extinct (not comparable)

  1. (dated) Extinguished, no longer alight (of fire, candles etc.)
    Antonym: burning
    Poor Edward's cigarillo was already extinct.
  2. No longer used; obsolete, discontinued.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:obsolete
    The title became extinct when the last baron died.
    Luckily, such ideas about race are extinct in current sociological theory.
    • 1961 January, Trains Illustrated, page 59, photo caption:
      The ex-G.C. Class A5 4-6-2T, of which No. 69820 was one, is now extinct.
    • 1988, Andrew Radford, chapter 5, in Transformational grammar: a first course, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, page 275:
      Indeed the very fact that the English spelling system writes in there as two words but therein as one word might be taken as suggesting that only the former is a productive syntactic construction in Modern English, the latter being a now extinct construction which has left behind a few fossil remnants in the form of compound words such as thereby.
  3. (of a group of organisms, as a species) No longer in existence; having died out.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:inexistent
    Antonyms: extant; see also Thesaurus:existent
    The dinosaurs have been extinct for millions of years.
  4. (geology) No longer active.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:dead
    Antonyms: active, dormant
    Most of the volcanos on this island are now extinct.
    They found the sites of extinct geysers.
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English extincten, from the adjective (see above).


extinct (third-person singular simple present extincts, present participle extincting, simple past and past participle extincted)

  1. (transitive) To make extinct; to extinguish or annihilate.
    Antonym: (biology) de-extinct
    • c. 1603–1604 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Othello, the Moore of Venice”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act II, scene i], page 316, column 2:
      Make loues quicke pants in Deſdemonaes Armes, / Giue renew'd fire to our extincted Spirits.
    • 2013, Steven A. LeBlanc, Katherine E. Register, Constant Battles: The Myth of the Peaceful, Noble Savage, St. Martin's Press, →ISBN:
      Paleontologists determine which animal species were extincted, and geomorphologists can find cycles of soil erosion.

Further reading[edit]