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  1. of great extent; wide; broad: an extensive area.
  2. covering or extending over a great area: extensive travels.
  3. far-reaching; comprehensive; thorough: extensive knowledge.
  4. lengthy: an extensive journey.
  5. great in amount, number, or degree: an extensive fortune; extensive political influence.
  6. of or having extension: Space is extensive, time durational.
  7. noting or pertaining to a system of agriculture involving the use or cultivation of large areas of land with a minimum of labor and expense (opposed to intensive).

Origin of extensive

1375–1425; late Middle English < Late Latin extēnsīvus, equivalent to Latin extēns(us) (past participle of extendere to extend) + -īvus -ive
Related formsex·ten·sive·ly, adverbex·ten·sive·ness, ex·ten·siv·i·ty [ek-sten-siv-i-tee, ik-] /ˌɛk stɛnˈsɪv ɪ ti, ɪk-/, nounnon·ex·ten·sive, adjectivenon·ex·ten·sive·ly, adverbnon·ex·ten·sive·ness, nounpre·ex·ten·sive, adjectivepre·ex·ten·sive·ly, adverb

Synonyms for extensive

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Antonyms for extensive

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

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British Dictionary definitions for extensive


  1. having a large extent, area, scope, degree, etc; vastextensive deserts; an extensive inheritance
  2. widespreadextensive coverage in the press
  3. agriculture involving or farmed with minimum expenditure of capital or labour, esp depending on a large area of landCompare intensive (def. 3)
  4. physics of or relating to a property, measurement, etc, of a macroscopic system that is proportional to the size of the systemheat is an extensive property Compare intensive (def. 7)
  5. logic
    1. of or relating to logical extension
    2. (of a definition) in terms of the objects to which the term applies rather than its meaning
Derived Formsextensively, adverbextensiveness, noun
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 extensive

"vast, far-reaching;" c.1600 of immaterial, c.1700 of material things; from Late Latin extensivus, from extens-, past participle stem of Latin extendere (see extend). Earlier in a medical sense, "characterized by swelling" (early 15c.). Related: Extensively; extensiveness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper