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See more synonyms for extinct on Thesaurus.com
  1. no longer in existence; that has ended or died out: an extinct species of fish.
  2. no longer in use; obsolete: an extinct custom.
  3. extinguished; quenched; not burning.
  4. having ceased eruption; no longer active: an extinct volcano.
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Origin of extinct

1400–50; late Middle English < Latin ex(s)tinctus put out, quenched, past participle of ex(s)tinguere to extinguish
Related formsnon·ex·tinct, adjectiveun·ex·tinct, adjective
Can be confusedextinct rare scarce


See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
1. defunct, gone, vanished. 2. archaic. 3. out.

Synonym study

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

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British Dictionary definitions for extinct


  1. (of an animal or plant species) having no living representative; having died out
  2. quenched or extinguished
  3. (of a volcano) no longer liable to erupt; inactive
  4. void or obsoletean extinct political office
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Word Origin

C15: from Latin exstinctus quenched, from exstinguere to extinguish
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 extinct


early 15c., from Latin extinctus/exstinctus, past participle of extinguere/exstinguere (see extinguish). Originally of fires; the sense of the condition of "dying out" of a family or a hereditary title, 1580s; of species by 1768. Cf. extinction.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

extinct in Science


  1. Having no living members. Species become extinct for many reasons, including climate change, disease, destruction of habitat, local or worldwide natural disasters, and development into new species (speciation). The great majority of species that have ever lived-probably more than 99 percent-are now extinct.
  2. No longer active or burning, as an extinct volcano.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.