[ ik-stingk-shuhn ]
/ ɪkˈstɪŋk ʃən /
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Apostrophes can be tricky; prove you know the difference between it’s and its in this crafty quiz!
Question 1 of 12
On the farm, the feed for chicks is significantly different from the roosters’; ______ not even comparable.

Origin of extinction

1375–1425; late Middle English extinccio(u)n<Latin ex(s)tinctiōn- (stem of ex(s)tinctiō). See extinct, -ion
non·ex·tinc·tion, nounpre·ex·tinc·tion, nounself-ex·tinc·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for extinction

/ (ɪkˈstɪŋkʃən) /


the act of making extinct or the state of being extinct
the act of extinguishing or the state of being extinguished
complete destruction; annihilation
physics reduction of the intensity of radiation as a result of absorption or scattering by matter
astronomy the dimming of light from a celestial body as it passes through an absorbing or scattering medium, such as the earth's atmosphere or interstellar dust
psychol a process in which the frequency or intensity of a learned response is decreased as a result of reinforcement being withdrawnCompare habituation
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

Medical definitions for extinction

[ ĭk-stĭngkshən ]


Progressive reduction in the strength of the conditioned response in successive conditioning trials during which only the conditioned stimulus is presented and the unconditioned stimulus is omitted.absorbance
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for extinction

[ ĭk-stĭngkshən ]

The fact of being extinct or the process of becoming extinct. See more at background extinction mass extinction.
A progressive decrease in the strength of a conditioned response, often resulting in its elimination, because of withdrawal of a specific stimulus.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for extinction


The disappearance of a species from the Earth.

The fossil record tells us that 99.9 percent of all species that ever lived are now extinct.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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