9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[ik-stent] /ɪkˈstɛnt/
the space or degree to which a thing extends; length, area, volume, or scope:
the extent of his lands; to be right to a certain extent.
something extended, as a space; a particular length, area, or volume; something having extension:
the limitless extent of the skies.
U.S. Law. a writ, or a levy, by which a debtor's lands are valued and transferred to the creditor, absolutely or for a term of years.
English Law.
  1. Also called writ of extent. a writ to recover debts of a record due to the crown, under which land, property, etc., may be seized.
  2. a seizure made under such a writ.
Logic. extension (def 12).
Archaic. assessment or valuation, as of land.
Origin of extent
1250-1300; Middle English extente assessment < Medieval Latin extenta, noun use of feminine of Latin extentus, past participle of extendere to extend
Related forms
preextent, noun
Can be confused
extant, extent.
1. magnitude, measure, amount, compass, range, expanse, stretch, reach, length. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for extent
  • You can, to some extent, condition your plants and soil for cold weather.
  • The physical extent of land conversion for human activities is only part of the story, however.
  • They all knew who Freud was, but that was about the extent of their common knowledge.
  • The extent to which this hope may be justified is in part hidden behind the wall of atomic secrecy.
  • To some extent, we all fear change.
  • New study looks to tabulate the extent of intelligent extraterrestrial life.
  • One thing that really surprises me is the extent to which Rembrandt exists as a phenomenon in pop culture.
  • To a laudable extent, he has come through in amazingly rapid fashion.
  • Changing the path now will limit the extent of the destruction.
  • Some countries take breaking the law seriously and do not hesitate to prosecute criminals to the fullest extent of the law.
British Dictionary definitions for extent


the range over which something extends; scope: the extent of the damage
an area or volume: a vast extent of concrete
(US, law) a writ authorizing a person to whom a debt is due to assume temporary possession of his debtor's lands
(logic) another word for extension (sense 11)
Word Origin
C14: from Old French extente, from Latin extentus extensive, from extendere to extend
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 extent

early 14c., from Anglo-French extente, Old French estente "valuation of land, stretch of land," from fem. past participle of Old French extendre "extend," from Latin extendere (see extend). Meaning "degree to which something extends" is from 1590s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with extent
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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