• WordNet 3.6
    • n extinction the act of extinguishing; causing to stop burning "the extinction of the lights"
    • n extinction a conditioning process in which the reinforcer is removed and a conditioned response becomes independent of the conditioned stimulus
    • n extinction complete annihilation "they think a meteor cause the extinction of the dinosaurs"
    • n extinction the reduction of the intensity of radiation as a consequence of absorption and radiation
    • n extinction no longer in existence "the extinction of a species"
    • n extinction no longer active; extinguished "the extinction of the volcano"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Each day, anywhere from 35-150 species of life go extinct
    • Extinction State of being extinguished or of ceasing to be; destruction; suppression; as, the extinction of life, of a family, of a quarrel, of claim.
    • Extinction The act of extinguishing or making extinct; a putting an end to; the act of putting out or destroying light, fire, life, activity, influence, etc.
    • Extinction The ceasing to exist of a species of living organism, such as a plant or animal, whose numbers declined to the point where the last member of the species died and therefore no new members of the species could ever again be born.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Every ten minutes, another plant or animal life form becomes extinct.
    • n extinction The act of extinguishing, or the state of being extinguished; a quenching or putting out, as of fire or flame.
    • n extinction Hence A bringing or coming to an end; a putting out of existence; suppression; destruction.
    • n extinction In optics, the arresting of a beam of light by polarization, by the imperfect transparency of the medium, or otherwise. Thus, extinction takes place when the vibration-planes of the two Nicol prisms in a polariscope are set at right angles to each other (see polarization), for then the light which passes through the first, or polarizer, is arrested or extinguished by the second, or analyzer. The extinction-directions in a section of a transparent doubly refracting substance are the principal planes of light-vibration; for if the section is placed between the crossed nicols, it remains dark only when these directions coincide with the vibration-planes of the nicols. If these directions coincide with the crystallographic axes, the extinction is said to be parallel, otherwise it is oblique. See microscope.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: More than 99.9% of all the animal species that have ever lived on earth were extinct before the coming of man.
    • Extinction a quenching or destroying: destruction: suppression
    • ***


  • W. Somerset Maugham
    “You know that the Tasmanians, who never committed adultery, are now extinct.”
  • T. S. Eliot
    “The progress of an artist is a continual self-sacrifice, a continual extinction of personality.”
  • Samuel Butler
    “Birth and death are so closely related that one could not destroy either without destroying the other at the same time. It is extinction that makes creation possible.”
  • Calvin Coolidge
    “The government of the United States is a device for maintaining in perpetuity the rights of the people, with the ultimate extinction of all privileged classes.”
  • Ezra Pound
    “Man is an over-complicated organism. If he is doomed to extinction he will die out for want of simplicity.”
  • Marcus T. Cicero
    “That last day does not bring extinction to us, but change of place.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. extinctio, exstinction,: cf. F. extinction,


In literature:

If I die my family name will become extinct; if I marry I may expect children: is this unreasonable?
"The Poison Tree" by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee
Unhappily, that expectation was now extinct within her for ever.
"The Return of the Native" by Thomas Hardy
Sooner or later, where there is no power of resistance and no necessity, there comes extinction.
"Certain Personal Matters" by H. G. Wells
And long before that time George was bored to extinction.
"The Trumpeter Swan" by Temple Bailey
London Society for the Extinction of the Slave Trade, and for the Civilization of Africa.
"The Suppression of the African Slave Trade to the United States of America" by W. E. B. Du Bois
Oh, I am bored to extinction, you know all that, you most exasperating woman.
"Great Possessions" by Mrs. Wilfrid Ward
Time is with you; this class of the nonjurors will be extinct, and never renewed.
"History of the Girondists, Volume I" by Alphonse de Lamartine
In due season, they held, the horse would be as extinct as the Dodo, and as mythical as the Centaur.
"The Trumpeter Swan" by Temple Bailey
Y. Simpson have shown that many peerages have become extinct through the evil results of inter-marriage.
"The People's Common Sense Medical Adviser in Plain English" by R. V. Pierce
V. They have long been extinct in the Antilles.
"The Northmen, Columbus and Cabot, 985-1503" by Various

In poetry:

And they heed but transitory
Marketings in cheese and meat,
Till I judge that Lodi's story
Is extinct in Lodi's street.
"The Bridge Of Lodi" by Thomas Hardy
To make the matter more succinct:
Suppose my fellow man extinct.
Why, who would not approve the plan
Save possibly my fellow man?
Yet with a politician's voice
He names himself as Nature's choice.
"À Bas Ben Adhem" by Ogden Nash
Consider the auk;
Becoming extinct because he forgot how to fly, and could only walk.
Consider man, who may well become extinct
Because he forgot how to walk and learned how to fly before he thinked.
"A Caution To Everybody" by Ogden Nash
The moon's man stands in his shell,
Bent under a bundle
Of sticks. The light falls chalk and cold
Upon our bedspread.
His teeth are chattering among the leprous
Peaks and craters of those extinct volcanoes.
"The Everlasting Monday" by Sylvia Plath
Without extinction is Liberty! without retrograde is Equality!
They live in the feelings of young men, and the best women;
Not for nothing have the indomitable heads of the earth been always
ready to fall for Liberty.
"As I Sat Alone" by Walt Whitman
Richly resonant and succinct As the carolling bobolink,
Tang of pine and cedar limbs
Where a peak of silence brims
Past the lake and cataract On an extinct glacier track;
Lightning bolt, thunder cloud
Let this fragrance be allowed!
"Ukase" by Norman MacLeod

In news:

Extinct Giant Tortoises Might Not Be Extinct.
New genetic evidence shows our ancestors interbred with now-extinct species.
Graham who, in the 1840's, helped restore this almost extinct, ancient breed to its former state.
Javan Rhinoceros Extinct In Vietnam.
Jitney Jungle Stores of America here stood on the verge of extinction last week after auctioning off 112 of its 137 locations.
Many thought-to-be-extinct ladybugs were found on weed leaves at Quail Hill Farm on Tuesday.
While writer Rebecca Mead serves up North Korean barbecue diplomacy, journalist Dan Koeppel examines the possible extinction of the banana and Padma Lakshmi prepares some tangy and tart dishes.
Lemurs in fancy hats are helping researchers better understand how extinct creatures moved.
In halting, creaky tones, the elderly chief of this tiny community spoke in his indigenous language, S'aoch, an ancient tongue linguists predict will be extinct within a generation.
The Bicron TTP™ platforms are capable of CORONA inception/extinction up to 20,000Vrms @60Hz, BIL ratings up to 60KV, HIPOT voltages up to 40,000Vrms @60Hz, bandwidths to 1MHz, and reduced parasitic impedances over previous test standards.
The original ship, according to Genesis, was built to save species from extinction, humans included - all in the same boat.
In Angler's Freezer Since '62, Fish May Refute 'Extinction'.
Wood Bison Extinct For More Than 100 Years.
The law says we need to keep species from becoming extinct but when most families are just trying to keep a roof over their head, is it worth it.
0 The canals of Xochimilco in Mexico City are a UN World Heritage historic site and home to the almost-extinct ajolote water salamander , a creature of historic Mexican myth and modern-day medical scrutiny.

In science:

In common with the method outlined within Section 4.1, interstellar KS -band extinctions are estimated independently using the J–K S and H –K S colours of individual cluster/association stars, adopting the Indebetouw et al. (2005) relationship between J, H and KS extinction.
A census of the Wolf-Rayet content in Westerlund 1 from near-infrared imaging and spectroscopy
In Figure 1b, we display the ratio of extinction events to the number of current taxa, where it may be observed that, each taxon has the chance to give birth to an unsuccessful mutation, as time goes on; and, the inset is for the size distribution of extinction events, where linearity is clear.
A physical model for competition between biological speciation and extinction
Total population saturates (i.e., becomes asymptotically horizontal) and we have the size distribution similar to (but not exactly) an exponential one. And due to rapid speciation and extinction, we now have the extinction events following a power law, where the power is almost plus two.
A physical model for competition between biological speciation and extinction
Frequency of mass extinction events (punctuation). Inset is for the cumulative extinction abundance, where a power law is clear, and the power exponent is about 1.7.
A physical model for competition between biological speciation and extinction
While extinction corrections could occasionally be large (Chary et al. 2005) and could modify this conclusion, most well studied Lyα galaxies have very modest extinction (Finkelstein et al. 2007; Pirzkal et al. 2007).
A Luminosity Function of Lyman Alpha Emitting Galaxies at Redshift 4.5