from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective No longer existing or living: synonym: dead.
  • adjective No longer burning or active.
  • adjective No longer in use.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Extinguished; put out; quenched.
  • Having ceased; being at an end; out of existence or out of force; terminated: as, an extinct family or race; an extinct law.
  • noun Extinction.
  • To put out; destroy.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb obsolete To cause to be extinct.
  • adjective Extinguished; put out; quenched
  • adjective Without a survivor; without force; dead
  • adjective Once existing as a species but now having no living members; -- used of species of living organisms, especially of animals and plants.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective dated Extinguished, no longer alight (of fire, candles etc.)
  • adjective No longer used; obsolete, discontinued.
  • adjective No longer in existence; having died out.
  • adjective volcanology No longer actively erupting.

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

  • adjective being out or having grown cold
  • adjective no longer in existence; lost or especially having died out leaving no living representatives
  • adjective (of e.g. volcanos) permanently inactive


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

[Middle English, from Latin exstīnctus, past participle of exstinguere, to extinguish; see extinguish.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Recorded since 1432; from Latin extinctus, the past participle of extinguere ("to put out, destroy, abolish, extinguish"), corresponding to ex- + stinguere ("to quench")


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word extinct.


  • The title extinct, the fortune gone -- so does Fate laugh at our posthumous ambition!

    Alice, or the Mysteries — Complete Edward Bulwer Lytton Lytton 1838

  • The same process works going forward in time; in essence every one of us who has children and whose line does not go extinct is suspended at the center of an immense genetic hourglass.

    "Descent From Antiquity" - Genetic Trivia, or a Profound Truth? 2009

  • For example, the La Palma giant lizard of the Canary Islands was classified as extinct in 2006, before a series of sightings and photographs elevated the creature to critically endangered status.

    Scientists work hard to avoid declaring a species extinct 2011

  • Hope evolution makes these vermin extinct soon, but the mills of God grind exceedlngly slow, but extremely fine. aware

    Obama considering major health care speech 2009

  • Whomever wrote the article missed a major headline a year ago ... they analyzed enough neandarthal skeletons, living sites, etc and found that the reason they went extinct is because the females also hunted.

    Hitting the Headlines 2008

  • The only human question that would sadly go extinct if we go extinct is "where does evolution go from here?", and that's not all that interesting a question anyway.

    A Very Cool, Very Big Machine 2008

  • 'But the definition of extinct is that we are absolutely certain the last individual has died,' said Mr Hitchmough, who compiled DOC's latest lists of threatened species, including six native insects and snails also declared extinct.

    Archive 2007-01-01 2007

  • For those interested in extinct species, I've just published a non-facsimile reprint of Symington Grieve's The Great Auk, or Garefowl.

    Archive 2007-02-01 2007

  • Group weblog Re-Imagineering neatly examines certain extinct things about Disneyland in a series of posts called Elemental Losses.

    Parking Lot Nostalgia? : 2006

  • There friggin sheep, my only concern if they go extinct is no more mutton from them.

    Think Progress » Bush Rides Roughshod Over Protected Federal Land 2006


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.