Definition of extinct in English:


Line breaks: ex|tinct
Pronunciation: /ɪkˈstɪŋkt
, ɛk-/


  • 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    inactive, old, former, no longer active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).

More definitions of extinct

Definition of extinct in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day coloratura
Pronunciation: ˌkɒlərəˈtjʊərə
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody