verb (used with object), ex·tri·cat·ed, ex·tri·cat·ing.

to free or release from entanglement; disengage: to extricate someone from a dangerous situation.
to liberate (gas) from combination, as in a chemical process.

Origin of extricate

1605–15; < Latin extricātus (past participle of extricāre), equivalent to ex- ex-1 + tric(ae) perplexities + -ātus -ate1
Related formsex·tri·ca·tion, nounnon·ex·tri·ca·tion, nounun·ex·tri·cat·ed, adjective

Synonyms for extricate

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for extrication

Historical Examples of extrication

  • What opening for extrication, unless, indeed, Emilia should die?


    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

  • They were therefore in a dilemma, from which there was no middle course of extrication.

    Mary Wollstonecraft

    Elizabeth Robins Pennell

  • Here was an impasse from which obviously there was but one method of extrication.

  • This is one of the simplest of these methods of extrication.

  • They seemed to be in a maze, without perceiving the right way of extrication.

    The Allen House

    T. S. Arthur

British Dictionary definitions for extrication


verb (tr)

to remove or free from complication, hindrance, or difficulty; disentangle
Derived Formsextricable, adjectiveextrication, noun

Word Origin for extricate

C17: from Latin extrīcāre to disentangle, from ex- 1 + trīcae trifles, vexations


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 extrication

1640s, noun of action of extricate.



1610s, from Latin extricatus, past participle of extricare "disentangle," perhaps from ex- "out of" + tricae (plural) "perplexities, hindrances," of unknown origin. Related: Extricated; extricating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper