9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[ik-sting-gwish] /ɪkˈstɪŋ gwɪʃ/
verb (used with object)
to put out (a fire, light, etc.); put out the flame of (something burning or lighted):
to extinguish a candle.
to put an end to or bring to an end; wipe out of existence; annihilate:
to extinguish hope.
to obscure or eclipse, as by superior brilliance.
Law. to discharge (a debt), as by payment.
Origin of extinguish
1535-45; < Latin ex(s)tingu(ere) (ex- ex-1 + stinguere to quench) + -ish2
Related forms
extinguishable, adjective
extinguishment, noun
nonextinguishable, adjective
nonextinguished, adjective
preextinguish, verb (used with object)
preextinguishment, noun
self-extinguishing, adjective
unextinguishable, adjective
unextinguished, adjective
1. quench, smother, snuff out, blow out.
1. light, ignite. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for extinguish
  • If you can extinguish the spark, that will light the flame, you will never have a fire.
  • But when it is low the peat itself catches light, making the fire much harder to extinguish.
  • Fire officials said it would take days to extinguish the fire, though much of it had been contained.
  • Smoke alarms can alert you to a fire, and sprinklers can extinguish a blaze.
  • If none of these conditions exist, you may open the door and attempt to extinguish the fire.
  • Tundra vegetation can be a main fire carrier, with peat fires sometimes requiring several burning periods to extinguish.
  • Keep a shovel and charged garden hose nearby while burning so that they can be quickly used to extinguish a fire in an emergency.
  • To extinguish the fire, cover with dirt or pour water over it.
  • Have a garden hose or some other means to extinguish and control the fire.
  • Portions of the home's interior did suffer damage from the water used to extinguish the fire.
British Dictionary definitions for extinguish


verb (transitive)
to put out or quench (a light, flames, etc)
to remove or destroy entirely; annihilate
(archaic) to eclipse or obscure by or as if by superior brilliance
(law) to discharge (a debt)
Derived Forms
extinguishable, adjective
extinguisher, noun
extinguishment, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin exstinguere, from stinguere to quench
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for extinguish

c.1500 (implied in extinguishable), from Latin extinguere/exstinguere "quench, wipe out, obliterate," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + stinguere "quench," from PIE *steig- "to prick, stick, pierce." Related: Extinguished; extinguishing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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extinguish in Medicine

extinguish ex·tin·guish (ĭk-stĭng'gwĭsh)
n. ex·tin·guished, ex·tin·guish·ing, ex·tin·guish·es
To bring about the extinction of a conditioned response.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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