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Recorded since 1432; borrowed from Latin extinctus, the past participle of extinguere (to put out, destroy, abolish, extinguish), corresponding to ex- + stinguere (to quench)



extinct (not comparable)

  1. (dated) Extinguished, no longer alight (of fire, candles etc.)
    Poor Edward's cigarillo was already extinct.
  2. No longer used; obsolete, discontinued.
    The title became extinct when the last baron died.
    Luckily, such ideas about race are extinct in current sociological theory.
    • 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.
    The dinosaurs have been extinct for millions of years.
  4. (volcanology) No longer actively erupting.
    Most of the volcanos on this island are now extinct.



Related terms[edit]


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Further reading[edit]


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.