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[n. ek-surpt; v. ik-surpt, ek-surpt] /n. ˈɛk sɜrpt; v. 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.
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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Examples from the web for excerpts
  • The excerpts contained in this chapter are typical of the letters which come to me by the thousands.
  • The note also contained excerpts from several of the scientists' emails.
  • We will be highlighting excerpts from these comments as well as soliciting the opinions of thoughtful outsiders.
  • The excerpts greatly reflect the ideology of the country from which they are reported.
  • We present edited excerpts, below, because they are deeply troubling if true.
  • Other excerpts indicate that action, gadgets and earnest character development will play a bigger role than wisecracks.
  • Both the transcript and audio excerpts have been edited for clarity and length.
  • Time magazine, with much fanfare, published excerpts.
  • Terrace is also selective in the excerpts from my thesis he chooses to make.
  • Students and library users are still copying excerpts from books, but those days are getting more and more numbered.
British Dictionary definitions for excerpts


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 excerpts



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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