Definition of extinct in English:



  • 1(of a species, family, or other larger group) having no living members.

    ‘trilobites and dinosaurs are extinct’
    • ‘Granted, this species is extinct, but not that long ago, they filled this island.’
    • ‘It is the first time an extinct species has been reintroduced into the UK.’
    • ‘Endangered or extinct species such as the small panda and the monk seal are on display.’
    • ‘On the eastern side of the bluff, the bones of extinct species of bison attest that the promontory was once used as a buffalo jump.’
    • ‘Because of the unusual pattern of speciation preceding extinction, the region contained a mix of extinct and living species through the period of change.’
    • ‘Today, many of these species are ecologically extinct from their former ranges and large mammals are absent from most coastal ecosystems.’
    • ‘Five species are now extinct and 15 have been lost from over half their range.’
    • ‘We were pleased to read recently that efforts are being made to re-establish an almost extinct species in Kerry.’
    • ‘These affections are leaving the world like the colors of extinct birds, like the songs of a dead language.’
    • ‘The talk in the lecture theatre on Saturday at 1.30 pm will look at living animals as well as extinct species revealed in some of the rarest fossils.’
    • ‘But the related species of one extinct group, the glyptodonts, had a single-piece carapace similar to that of tortoises.’
    • ‘Still, is it unethical or immoral to bring an extinct species back from the dead?’
    • ‘She has also been working with Yellowstone National Park to help realize her pet project on extinct species.’
    • ‘The Victorian Bird Collection includes a diverse array of specimens from around the world including rare and extinct species.’
    • ‘I'm sure he's right that the giant panda could go extinct without materially affecting human existence.’
    • ‘This study indicates a habitat and ecological polarity of this extinct species different from its nearest living relatives.’
    • ‘With excessive fishing, these species are almost extinct.’
    • ‘He also included several extinct genera in this family, some of which have a pyramidal spire.’
    • ‘Wilson is a natural orator, and the finest passages in the book are elegiac songs of life and wistful recollections of lost habitats, extinct flora and fauna.’
    • ‘Most paleontologists now agree this member of an extinct group of birds is not the ancestor of any group of modern birds, nor is it a link between reptiles and birds.’
    • ‘What kinds of extinct species had once belonged to the groups?’
    vanished, lost, died out, dead, defunct, no longer existing, no longer extant, wiped out, destroyed, exterminated, gone
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1No longer in existence.
      ‘an extinct language’
      ‘the sort of girls' school that is now extinct’
      • ‘The taking of snuff and the use of chewing tobacco are now almost extinct, although dedicated pipe smokers and cigar devotees are still to be found.’
      • ‘Here Tulu language, one of the five main Dravidian languages of the South, with its extinct script is spoken.’
      • ‘The laws of front-row play will almost certainly have to change, too, if props and hookers are not to become an extinct species.’
      • ‘However, Tulu language with its near extinct script has been generating much enthusiasm amongst the linguists, as it is now believed to be one of the oldest Dravidian languages.’
      • ‘Learning to speak an extinct indigenous language should be an enormous benefit to Aboriginal kids in getting a job in twenty-first century Australia.’
      • ‘It is much more likely that it is merely a rare or previously extinct language.’
      • ‘Yes, it says it's a language from Australia, but now it's extinct.’
      • ‘The hot programming language of today may be extinct tomorrow.’
      • ‘Languages spoken by the indigenous population are extinct.’
      • ‘Certainly bank managers are now an extinct species.’
      • ‘Vernon Street is now Pilkington Terrace, named after Commandant Billy Pilkington and James Street is extinct.’
      • ‘Again, it's worth remembering what a step up it is from its predecessor, although most skateboards exhibit superior ride and handling than that extinct species.’
      • ‘If nobody shared any files then this type of service would be extinct very quickly.’
      • ‘Some people refuse to accept that the idea of a regional assembly in the north west is extinct, it is no more.’
      • ‘This is how a language becomes extinct, says Doug Whalen, president of the Endangered Language Fund at Yale.’
      • ‘Some languages are extinct - from Guale to Esalen, from Eyak to Timucuan.’
      • ‘In the final analysis, he is one of the last gentlemen (if not the last gentleman) among us, a nearly extinct species by now.’
      • ‘Many extinct or vanishing Indian languages are the only evidence we have of the long migrations and complex histories of particular peoples.’
      • ‘Languages are becoming extinct at an alarming rate which makes language endangerment the area of the greatest current concern to linguists.’
      • ‘Because of the success of broadband services in the past few years, it could be very likely that dial-up service will eventually become extinct around the world.’
    2. 1.2(of a volcano) not having erupted in recorded history.
      • ‘The islands are low coral caps surmounting submerged extinct volcanoes.’
      • ‘A Lancaster woman is to hike 6,000 metres up to the summit of an extinct volcano.’
      • ‘Visually, the city keeps you enthralled, with its setting atop a series of extinct volcanoes and rocky crags.’
      • ‘El Laco is an extinct volcano of pure magnetite!’
      • ‘Just to the west of Mount Schank, an extinct volcano created a series of deep sinkholes, which harbour some unusual life forms.’
      inactive, old, former, no longer active
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3No longer burning.
      ‘his now extinct pipe’
      • ‘An extinct cigar lay on the carpet, where it had fallen from the mouth of some airman swiftly overtaken by sleep.’
      • ‘I found Jack sitting alone in the dark at the open studio window, an extinct pipe between his lips.’
    4. 1.4(of a title of nobility) having no qualified claimant.
      • ‘Even so I didn't know there was an extinct title for Walkley?’
      • ‘The new d' Urbervilles changed their name to a noble name they thought extinct so that no one in the area will know how they made their money.’
      • ‘In that year both these names were replaced by the present one, which is presumably an allusion to the extinct title formerly held by a member of the Sutton family.’


Late Middle English (in the sense no longer alight): from Latin exstinct- extinguished from the verb exstinguere (see extinguish).