Meaning of extract


When you extract something, you remove it from a larger whole. You can extract a passage from a book, or a liquid essence from a vanilla bean—vanilla extract.

Ex- means out of, and when you extract, you draw something out of something else. When listening to a complicated and long-winded story, it can be difficult to extract the truly meaningful details.

Definitions of extract
  1. verb

    remove, usually with some force or effort; also used in an abstract sense

    extract a bad tooth”
    extract information from the telegram”

    draw out, pull, pull out, pull up, take out

    draw, get out, pull, pull out, take out

    bring, take, or pull out of a container or from under a cover
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    squeeze out, wring out

    extract (liquid) by squeezing or pressing

    extract information from a modulated carrier wave

    remove facial hair by tying a fine string around it and pulling at the string
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    remove, take, take away, withdraw

    remove something concrete, as by lifting, pushing, or taking off, or remove something abstract

  2. verb

    extract by the process of distillation


    distil, distill

    distil, distill

    undergo the process of distillation
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    distill (alcohol) illegally; produce moonshine
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    create, make

    make or cause to be or to become

  3. verb

    separate (a metal) from an ore

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    divide into components or constituents

  4. verb

    obtain from a substance, as by mechanical action


    express, press out

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    squeeze the juice out (of a fruit) with a reamer
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    acquire, get

    come into the possession of something concrete or abstract

  5. verb

    get despite difficulties or obstacles

    extracted a promise from the Dean for two new positions”
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    type of:


    come into possession of

  6. noun

    a solution obtained by steeping or soaking a substance (usually in water)



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    Bovril, beef tea

    an extract of beef (given to people who are ill)
    black catechu, catechu

    extract of the heartwood of Acacia catechu used for dyeing and tanning and preserving fishnets and sails; formerly used medicinally

    extract from the pancreas of animals that contains pancreatic enzymes; used to treat pancreatitis and other conditions involving insufficient pancreatic secretions
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    a homogeneous mixture of two or more substances; frequently (but not necessarily) a liquid solution

  7. verb

    take out of a literary work in order to cite or copy


    excerpt, take out

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    choose, pick out, select, take

    pick out, select, or choose from a number of alternatives

  8. noun

    a passage selected from a larger work


    excerpt, excerption, selection

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    a short selection from the Prophets read on every Sabbath in a Jewish synagogue following a reading from the Torah

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    a selection of passages from different authors that is compiled as an aid in learning a language
    analecta, analects

    a collection of excerpts from a literary work
    clipping, cutting, newspaper clipping, press clipping, press cutting

    an excerpt cut from a newspaper or magazine
    cut, track

    a distinct selection of music from a recording or a compact disc
    citation, quotation, quote

    a passage or expression that is quoted or cited

    a quotation at the beginning of some piece of writing

    the representation of another person’s words in a speech
    misquotation, misquote

    an incorrect quotation
    type of:


    a section of text; particularly a section of medium length

  9. verb

    deduce (a principle) or construe (a meaning)


    draw out, educe, elicit, evoke

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    construe, interpret, see

    make sense of; assign a meaning to

  10. verb

    calculate the root of a number

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    type of:

    calculate, cipher, compute, cypher, figure, reckon, work out

    make a mathematical calculation or computation

Word Family

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