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

  • transitive v. To release from an entanglement or difficulty; disengage.
  • transitive v. Archaic To distinguish from something related.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To free, disengage, loosen, or untangle.
  • v. To free from intricacies or perplexity

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To free, as from difficulties or perplexities; to disentangle; to disembarrass
  • transitive v. To cause to be emitted or evolved.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To disentangle; disengage; free: as, to extricate one from a perilous or embarrassing situation; to extricate one's self from debt.
  • To set loose or free; evolve; excrete.
  • Synonyms Disentangle, etc. (see disengage); relieve, deliver, set free.
  • In entomology, extruded: applied to the ovipositor when the valves and vagina are entirely without the body, whether in use or not, as in many Ichneumonidæ.

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

  • v. release from entanglement of difficulty


Latin extrīcāre, extrīcāt- : ex-, ex- + trīcae, hindrances, perplexities.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin extricatus, past participle of extricō. (Wiktionary)



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  • "My mom has worked in the same factory for more than 30 years. Along with about a hundred others, some immigrants from Southeast Asia, she makes small motors that can be used in dialysis machines, rotating advertising signs, or those amusement park games where you maneuver a metal claw hoping to extricate a small fuzzy animal."
    - Robert Eshelman, 'Meeting Myself in Bucks County', 28 Oct 2008.

    October 29, 2008