suppression; abolition; annihilation: the extinction of an army.
Biology. the act or process of becoming extinct; a coming to an end or dying out: the extinction of a species.
Psychology. the reduction or loss of a conditioned response as a result of the absence or withdrawal of reinforcement.
Astronomy. the diminution in the intensity of starlight caused by absorption as it passes through the earth's atmosphere or through interstellar dust.
Crystallography, Optics. the darkness that results from rotation of a thin section to an angle (extinction angle ) at which plane-polarized light is absorbed by the polarizer.
- non·ex·tinc·tion, noun
- pre·ex·tinc·tion, noun
- self-ex·tinc·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024
How to use extinction in a sentence
Given that the coronavirus is a novel virus, we need to ensure that our at-risk wild animal and sea life populations do not experience massive die-offs or suffer extinctions because we failed to act to protect them.Everything we know—and don’t know—about human-to-animal COVID transmission | jakemeth | September 4, 2020 | Fortune
But, there’s still the chance that humans played their part in knocking the animals into extinction, as a sort of one-two punch.Climate change probably contributed to the woolly rhino’s rapid demise | Sara Kiley Watson | August 25, 2020 | Popular-Science
Based on the new study, he says, “there is no evidence so far of human hunting being a deciding factor in woolly rhino extinction.”Climate change, not hunters, may have killed off woolly rhinos | Bruce Bower | August 13, 2020 | Science News
How or whether volcanic activity in India around the same time as the impact exacerbated the climate change and mass extinction remains controversial.How Earth’s Climate Changes Naturally (and Why Things Are Different Now) | Howard Lee | July 21, 2020 | Quanta Magazine
It came after the mass extinction that finished off the dinosaurs.Saber-toothed anchovy relatives were once fearsome hunters | Carolyn Wilke | June 11, 2020 | Science News For Students
Pat Robertson wants to talk about the extinction of the gays.
Your existence contributes to over-population, climate change, and species extinction.
How might we resurrect a tradition threatened with extinction?
And thanks to oil palm plantations springing up in Africa, chimpanzees are in danger of extinction.Our Taste for Cheap Palm Oil Is Killing Chimpanzees | Carrie Arnold | July 11, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Over this image we hear: “Freedom is never more than one generation from extinction.”
Poor brutes, they deserved a better fate than the cruel method of extinction which Turkish rule administered.Fifty Years of Railway Life in England, Scotland and Ireland | Joseph Tatlow
With the extinction of the lights on the other boat came at last deeper night to her aid.The Amazing Interlude | Mary Roberts Rinehart
I am bored to death, to extinction; my thoughts are the colour of that water which flows over yonder, brackish and heavy.The Nabob | Alphonse Daudet
You must remember that the next war between France and Germany must mean extinction for one.Ways of War and Peace | Delia Austrian
Further difficulties now arose which led finally to the extinction of the company.
British Dictionary definitions for extinction
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 withdrawn: Compare 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
Scientific definitions for extinction
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 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.