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[noun ek-surpt; verb ik-surpt, ek-surpt] /noun ˈɛk sɜrpt; verb ɪkˈsɜrpt, ˈɛk sɜrpt/
a passage or quotation taken or selected from a book, document, film, or the like; extract.
verb (used with object)
to take or select (a passage) from a book, film, or the like; extract.
to take or select passages from (a book, film, or the like); abridge by choosing representative sections.
Origin of excerpt
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English < Latin excerptus (past participle of excerpere to pick out, pluck out), equivalent to ex- ex-1 + -cerp- (combining form of carpere to pluck) + -tus past participle suffix
Related forms
excerpter, excerptor, noun
excerptible, adjective
excerption, noun
unexcerpted, adjective
1. selection, portion, section, part. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for excerpt


noun (ˈɛksɜːpt)
a part or passage taken from a book, speech, play, etc, and considered on its own; extract
verb (ɛkˈsɜːpt)
(transitive) to take (a part or passage) from a book, speech, play, etc
Derived Forms
excerptor, noun
excerptible, adjective
excerption, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin excerptum, literally: (something) picked out, from excerpere to select, from carpere to pluck
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 excerpt

early 15c. (implied in excerpte), from Latin excerptus, past participle of excerpere "pluck out, pick out, extract, excerpt," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + carpere "pluck, gather," from PIE *kerp- "to gather, pluck, harvest" (see harvest (n.)). Related: Excerpted; excerpting.


1630s, from Latin excerptum "an extract, selection," noun use of neuter past participle of excerpere (see excerpt (v.)). Related: excerpts.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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