Definition of extract in English:

Share this entry



Pronunciation: /ikˈstrakt/
[with object]
1Remove or take out, especially by effort or force: the decayed tooth will have to be extracted
More example sentences
  • The resources required for transformation can only be extracted from the conventional force structure.
  • Strawberry genomic DNA was extracted from achenes removed from W1-stage strawberry fruits as described previously.
  • Women wailed and slapped their faces in grief; men scrambled through broken concrete in an effort to extract the dead - for few held out hope of finding anyone alive.
take out, draw out, pull out, remove, withdraw;
free, release, extricate
1.1Obtain (something such as money or an admission) from someone in the face of initial unwillingness: I won’t let you go without trying to extract a promise from you
More example sentences
  • Despite promises of police reform, police continue to use torture to intimidate, harass and humiliate women detainees to extract money or information.
  • In my experience, the best way to extract information from an unwilling subject is to put a bullet into one of his thighs.
  • Once you hand over your details, the fraudster either starts extracting small sums of money from you till you have nothing left, or simply drains your bank account and again leaves you with nothing.
wrest, exact, wring, screw, squeeze, obtain by force, obtain by threat(s), extort, blackmail someone for
informal put the bite on someone for
1.2Obtain (a substance or resource) from something by a special method: lead was extracted from the copper
More example sentences
  • One of the methods used to extract caffeine from the coffee bean is called water processing.
  • Nevertheless, the most optimal method for extracting nucleic acid must also be determined for each specimen type.
  • Total sugars were extracted using the ethanol method as described above.
squeeze out, express, press out, obtain
1.3Select (a passage from a piece of writing, music, or film) for quotation, performance, or reproduction: the table is extracted from the report
More example sentences
  • Then with suitable software you can both search for text and select and extract text for insertion into your own document.
  • I extract that text directly out of our new library system, we have a group library system now in our company, with 150 newspapers on the database.
  • The inherent risk is loss/exposure of data if a hacker is able to extract the plain text.
excerpt, select, reproduce, copy, take
1.4Derive (an idea or the evidence for it) from a body of information: the desire to extract meaningful lessons from a few experiments
More example sentences
  • We have attempted to extract ideas about culture from particular instances of cultural production (including discussion).
  • Nicola Corboy extracts ideas from each of the six modules.
  • Millions of people look to her for ideas about how to live, to the point where that caller was hoping she could extract some ideas for living out of the prison experience.
derive, develop, evolve, deduce, infer, obtain
formal educe
1.5 Mathematics Calculate (a root of a number).
Example sentences
  • I was allowed to use the new Friden calculating machine which, shortly before its transformation into a relic, could also extract square roots.
  • You will often find a button on your calculator which extracts roots (perhaps marked y x) near the button which computes the power of a number (marked x y).
  • They question the computers, add and subtract, extract square roots, and then go into action.


Pronunciation: /ˈekˌstrakt/
1A short passage taken from a piece of writing, music, or film: an extract from a historical film
More example sentences
  • Sometimes you hear short extracts of music to fill in the gap between the end of one song and the start of the news; sometimes the news tape is started 10 seconds in, after a song or ad overruns.
  • Here is a short extract from the text of Ficino's letter.
  • The first half of the play was pretty poor I thought consisting of not much more than set pieces - extracts from the public record - many of which we'd seen before on the TV.
excerpt, passage, citation, quotation;
(excerpts) analects
2A preparation containing the active ingredient of a substance in concentrated form: vanilla extract extract of chamomile
More example sentences
  • For the best results, a standardised extract of the active ingredient hypericin needs to be taken for six weeks.
  • However, this method lacks both selectivity and sensitivity and measurements of quinones require concentration of the extract and removal of substances that strongly absorb ultraviolet light.
  • Essential oils are concentrated plant extracts, which are generally obtained by steam distillation from flowers, fruit, seeds, stems, leaves, bark or roots of plants.
decoction, distillation, distillate, abstraction, concentrate, essence, juice



Pronunciation: /ikˌstraktəˈbilitē/
Example sentences
  • The degree of extractability, as it were, depends on the type of data extracted.
  • Juicy fruit possessed pectin of greater extractability than mealy fruit, with high amounts of loosely bound polyuronides and low amounts of tightly bound pectin.
  • The extractability of beef, pork, and chicken muscle with post-mortem aging was studied.


Pronunciation: /ikˈstraktəb(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • How much additional water might be extractable from that source is still unknown, but for the purpose of this estimate we have assumed an additional 30 MCM / Yr will be available.
  • Such a survey, while readily extractable from the extensive scholarship on modern China, is clearly beyond the purview of this essay.
  • Reserves are known sources of oil that are extractable given current technologies at current prices.


Late Middle English: from Latin extract- 'drawn out', from the verb extrahere, from ex- 'out' + trahere 'draw'.

  • train from Middle English:

    Before railways were invented in the early 19th century, train followed a different track. Early senses included ‘a trailing part of a robe’ and ‘a retinue’, which gave rise to ‘a line of travelling people or vehicles’, and later ‘a connected series of things’, as in train of thought. To train could mean ‘to cause a plant to grow in a desired shape’, which was the basis of the sense ‘to instruct’. The word is from Latin trahere ‘to pull, draw’, and so is related to word such as trace (Middle English) originally a path someone is drawn along, trail (Middle English) originally in the sense ‘to tow’, tractor (late 18th century) ‘something that pulls', contract (Middle English) ‘draw together’, and extract (Late Middle English) ‘draw out’. Boys in particular have practised the hobby of trainspotting under that name since the late 1950s. Others ridicule this hobby and in Britain in the 1980s trainspotter, like anorak, became a derogatory term for an obsessive follower of any minority interest. Irvine Welsh's 1993 novel Trainspotting gave a high profile to the term. The title refers to an episode in which two heroin addicts go to a disused railway station in Edinburgh and meet an old drunk in a disused railway station who asks them if they are trainspotting. There are also other overtones from the language of drugs—track is an addicts' term for a vein, mainlining [1930s] for injecting a drug intravenously, and train for a drug dealer. Trainers were originally training shoes, soft shoes without spikes or studs worn by athletes or sports players for training rather than the sport itself. The short form began to replace the longer one in the late 1970s.

Words that rhyme with extract

abreact, abstract, act, attract, bract, compact, contract, counteract, diffract, enact, exact, fact, humpbacked, impact, interact, matter-of-fact, pact, protract, redact, refract, retroact, subcontract, subtract, tact, tract, transact, unbacked, underact, untracked

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ex·tract

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.