Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Still in existence; not destroyed, lost, or extinct: extant manuscripts.
  • adj. Archaic Standing out; projecting.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Still in existence.
  • adj. Currently existing; not having disappeared.
  • adj. Still alive; not extinct.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Standing out or above any surface; protruded.
  • adj. Still existing; not destroyed or lost; outstanding.
  • adj. Publicly known; conspicuous.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Standing out or above any surface; protruding.
  • Conspicuous; manifest; evident; publicly known.
  • Now being; now subsisting; still existing; not destroyed or lost: as, the extant works of the Greek philosophers.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. still in existence; not extinct or destroyed or lost

Etymologies

Latin exstāns, exstant-, present participle of exstāre, to stand out : ex-, ex- + stāre, to stand; see stā- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
First attested in 1545, from Latin extantem, from extō, from ex- ("out") + stō ("stand"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • yeah, but it's spelled existent. and they don't mean precisely the same thing.

    November 13, 2013

  • extant..just put IS in between 'x' and 't..exIStnat'

    November 13, 2013

  • these professional critiques can be supplemented and compared to the still extant defenses written by doctors and leaders of fraternal societies.

    September 14, 2010

  • Or history. :) (Such as documents, records of specific events, etc.) It actually is not a simple synonym for existent, though the meanings overlap a bit.

    July 28, 2009

  • I thought that, these days, it's pretty domain-specific (referring to surviving artifacts within art or archaeology).

    July 28, 2009

  • I use this word all the time, mostly as a substitute for "existent".

    July 28, 2009

  • For me this is still a very useful and usable word. I would be sorry to see it relegated to archaic status. And Smart's use of it here to mean "not yet extinct" is, well, very smart.

    December 31, 2007

  • For all the creatures mentiond by Pliny are somewhere or other extant to the glory of God. (from Jubilate Agno by Christopher Smart)

    December 31, 2007