View synonyms for extent


[ ik-stent ]


  1. the space or degree to which a thing extends; length, area, volume, or scope:

    the extent of his lands; to be right to a certain extent.

    Synonyms: length, reach, stretch, expanse, range, compass, amount, measure, magnitude

  2. something extended, as a space; a particular length, area, or volume; something having extension:

    the limitless extent of the skies.

  3. U.S. Law. a writ, or a levy, by which a debtor's lands are valued and transferred to the creditor, absolutely or for a term of years.
  4. English Law.
    1. Also called writ of extent. a writ to recover debts of a record due to the crown, under which land, property, etc., may be seized.
    2. a seizure made under such a writ.
  5. Archaic. assessment or valuation, as of land.


/ ɪkˈstɛnt /


  1. the range over which something extends; scope

    the extent of the damage

  2. an area or volume

    a vast extent of concrete

  3. law a writ authorizing a person to whom a debt is due to assume temporary possession of his debtor's lands
  4. logic another word for extension

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Other Words From

  • preex·tent noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of extent1

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English extente “assessment,” from Medieval Latin extenta, noun use of feminine of Latin extentus “stretched out,” past participle of extendere “to stretch out”; extend

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Word History and Origins

Origin of extent1

C14: from Old French extente, from Latin extentus extensive, from extendere to extend

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Idioms and Phrases

see to some degree (extent) .

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Example Sentences

He said more analysis is needed to determine the extent that excessive speeding contributed to the increase in speed-related crashes, but last year’s data shows a troubling trend.

In the ocean, organisms accumulate these pieces in their bodies over their lifetimes, sometimes to harmful or lethal extents, and in turn microplastic also shows up in the seafood we eat.

Most students probably will not see the changes until the fall, when the university has said it expects to reopen “to the fullest extent possible.”

Both sides are to a certain extent under the illusion if you got rid of Section 230, that would magically fix all of their problems.

“We as a state must be able to assure, to the greatest extent possible, that we maintain an unbiased, balanced and fair taxation system,” said Brad Witt, a state representative who leads Oregon’s House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources.

My dad was a sailor, and all through my childhood he was away half of the time at sea, and to an extent I have a similar job.

And, as Gow adds wryly from his own personal experience, “To a huge extent they achieved that aim very well.”

That was the extent of it during the peak of the flames, and the numbers that swooshed around in the press the next day.

I did not think that it would go to the extent it did, but our office was not shocked.

To what extent was the testimony the grand jury heard corroborated or contradicted by forensic evidence?

But what a magnificent plain is this we are entering upon: it is of immense extent.

Adequate conception of the extent, the variety, the excellence of the works of Art here heaped together is impossible.

Tobacco is a strong growing plant resisting heat and drought to a far (p. 018) greater extent than most plants.

M'Bongo and his whole court are now clothed, I am happy to say, at least to a certain extent.

And it is too true that ages of subjugation have demoralized, to a fearful extent, the Italian People.


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More About Extent

What is extent?

Extent is the length, area, volume, or scope something reaches to, as in The extent of Sheree’s knowledge of science fiction was very deep.

Extent is a very common term that can refer to measurements, concepts, ideals, plans, and many other fields that measure anything, literal or figurative.

Extent can also refer to something that has a lengthening, stretching out, or enlarging scope, especially when the boundaries aren’t known. You might hear someone talk about the limitless extent of space, for example.

The phrase the extent of means that something has reached the extreme or the border of how far it can go, as in I can raise your allowance by $5, but that’s the extent of what I can do.

Example: We know that the pan can get hot, but we are unsure to what extent.

Where does extent come from?

The first records of the term extent come from around 1250. It ultimately comes from the Latin extendere, meaning “to extend.”

Extent has specific meanings in the law. In the United States, an extent is a formal order, or writ, that allows a creditor to take over a debtor’s lands, either temporarily or permanently, when the debtor can’t pay the debt.

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What are some other forms related to extent?

  • preextent (noun)

What are some synonyms for extent?

What are some words that share a root or word element with extent

What are some words that often get used in discussing extent?

What are some words extent may be commonly confused with?

How is extent used in real life?

Extent is almost always used in discussions about measurement, even when dealing with debt.


Try using extent!

Is extent used correctly in the following sentence?

Caleb didn’t study to a great extent for the final exam, but he managed to pass it anyway.

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.