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extinguish

[ik-sting-gwish]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to put out (a fire, light, etc.); put out the flame of (something burning or lighted): to extinguish a candle.
  2. to put an end to or bring to an end; wipe out of existence; annihilate: to extinguish hope.
  3. to obscure or eclipse, as by superior brilliance.
  4. Law. to discharge (a debt), as by payment.

Origin of extinguish

1535–45; < Latin ex(s)tingu(ere) (ex- ex-1 + stinguere to quench) + -ish2
Related formsex·tin·guish·a·ble, adjectiveex·tin·guish·ment, nounnon·ex·tin·guish·a·ble, adjectivenon·ex·tin·guished, adjectivepre·ex·tin·guish, verb (used with object)pre·ex·tin·guish·ment, nounself-ex·tin·guish·ing, adjectiveun·ex·tin·guish·a·ble, adjectiveun·ex·tin·guished, adjective

Synonyms

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1. quench, smother, snuff out, blow out.

Antonyms

1. light, ignite.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for extinguish

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • I sprang to my feet and took immediate measures to extinguish the flames.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • It would be well to extinguish the fire, and have a watch—listen!

    The Last of the Mohicans

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • The villagers were summoned to extinguish fires by ringing of bells.

    English Villages

    P. H. Ditchfield

  • Jealousy evermore blows the flame it seems formed to extinguish.

    Imogen

    William Godwin

  • But should a “holy alliance of legitimates” extinguish it, it will be but for a season.

    Chronicles of Border Warfare

    Alexander Scott Withers


British Dictionary definitions for extinguish

extinguish

verb (tr)
  1. to put out or quench (a light, flames, etc)
  2. to remove or destroy entirely; annihilate
  3. archaic to eclipse or obscure by or as if by superior brilliance
  4. law to discharge (a debt)
Derived Formsextinguishable, adjectiveextinguisher, nounextinguishment, noun

Word Origin

C16: from Latin exstinguere, from stinguere to quench
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

Word Origin and History for extinguish

v.

c.1500 (implied in extinguishable), from Latin extinguere/exstinguere "quench, wipe out, obliterate," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + stinguere "quench," from PIE *steig- "to prick, stick, pierce." Related: Extinguished; extinguishing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

extinguish in Medicine

extinguish

(ĭk-stĭnggwĭsh)
n.
  1. To bring about the extinction of a conditioned response.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.