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[ek-stuh nt, ik-stant] /ˈɛk stənt, ɪkˈstænt/
in existence; still existing; not destroyed or lost:
There are only three extant copies of the document.
Archaic. standing out; protruding.
Origin of extant
1535-45; < Latin ex(s)tant- (stem of ex(s)tāns) standing out, present participle of exstāre, equivalent to ex- ex-1 + stāre to stand
Related forms
nonextant, adjective
Can be confused
extant, extent. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for extant
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It is a matter of much regret that so few of his Gaelic poems are extant.

  • No extant writer mentions them older than Cicero and Cornelius Nepos.

    Charmides Plato
  • That stanza, as it stands above, does not occur in any of the extant quasi-originals.

    Sir Walter Scott George Saintsbury
  • He also thought he was safe in assuming that the edition by Berthelet was the only one extant.

  • These are among the oldest representatives of the plant world now extant.

    Boy Scouts Handbook Boy Scouts of America
British Dictionary definitions for extant


/ɛkˈstænt; ˈɛkstənt/
still in existence; surviving
(archaic) standing out; protruding
Usage note
Extant is sometimes wrongly used simply to say that something exists, without any connotation of survival: plutonium is perhaps the deadliest element in existence (not the deadliest element extant)
Word Origin
C16: from Latin exstāns standing out, from exstāre, from stāre to stand
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for extant

1540s, "standing out above a surface," from Latin extantem (nominative extans), present participle of extare "stand out, be visible, exist," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + stare "to stand," from PIE root *sta- "to stand" (see stet). Sense of "in existence" attested in English by 1560s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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