Definition of extinct in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɪkˈstɪŋkt/
Pronunciation: /ɛkˈstɪŋkt/


1(Of a species, family, or other larger group) having no living members: trilobites and dinosaurs are extinct
More example sentences
  • But the related species of one extinct group, the glyptodonts, had a single-piece carapace similar to that of tortoises.
  • Most paleontologists now agree this member of an extinct group of birds is not the ancestor of any group of modern birds, nor is it a link between reptiles and birds.
  • He also included several extinct genera in this family, some of which have a pyramidal spire.
vanished, lost, died out, dead, defunct, no longer existing, no longer extant, wiped out, destroyed, exterminated, gone
1.1No longer in existence: an extinct language the sort of girls' school that is now extinct
More example sentences
  • Many extinct or vanishing Indian languages are the only evidence we have of the long migrations and complex histories of particular peoples.
  • However, Tulu language with its near extinct script has been generating much enthusiasm amongst the linguists, as it is now believed to be one of the oldest Dravidian languages.
  • Learning to speak an extinct indigenous language should be an enormous benefit to Aboriginal kids in getting a job in twenty-first century Australia.
1.2(Of a title of nobility) having no valid claimant: the baronetcy became extinct
More example sentences
  • The new d' Urbervilles changed their name to a noble name they thought extinct so that no one in the area will know how they made their money.
  • Even so I didn't know there was an extinct title for Walkley?
  • In that year both these names were replaced by the present one, which is presumably an allusion to the extinct title formerly held by a member of the Sutton family.
2(Of a volcano) not having erupted in recorded history: the islands are the remains of extinct volcanoes
More example sentences
  • Visually, the city keeps you enthralled, with its setting atop a series of extinct volcanoes and rocky crags.
  • El Laco is an extinct volcano of pure magnetite!
  • Just to the west of Mount Schank, an extinct volcano created a series of deep sinkholes, which harbour some unusual life forms.
inactive, old, former, no longer active
2.1No longer alight: his now extinct pipe
More example sentences
  • An extinct cigar lay on the carpet, where it had fallen from the mouth of some airman swiftly overtaken by sleep.
  • I found Jack sitting alone in the dark at the open studio window, an extinct pipe between his lips.


Late Middle English (in the sense 'no longer alight'): from Latin exstinct- 'extinguished', from the verb exstinguere (see extinguish).

  • The early recorded sense of this was ‘no longer alight’. This is from Latin exstinguere ‘to extinguish’ (mid 16th century). Extinct is used in connection with species of animals that have died out, from the late 17th century.

Words that rhyme with extinct

distinct, succinct

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: ex|tinct

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