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

Etymology 1Edit

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 (geology) No longer active.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 termsEdit
Related termsEdit
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Etymology 2Edit

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 readingEdit