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[ek-stuh nt, ik-stant] /ˈɛk stənt, ɪkˈstænt/
in existence; still existing; not destroyed or lost:
There are only three extant copies of the document.
Archaic. standing out; protruding.
Origin of extant
1535-45; < Latin ex(s)tant- (stem of ex(s)tāns) standing out, present participle of exstāre, equivalent to ex- ex-1 + stāre to stand
Related forms
nonextant, adjective
Can be confused
extant, extent. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for extant
  • The extant literature on this view is substantial .
  • Some of the disparity stems from the Puritan strain extant even in the literary precincts of our culture.
  • Of course, the extant of that relationship is not yet known.
  • The goal was to determine the ranges of currently extant species.
  • No images of her as a young woman are extant.
  • The fact remains that there is only 1 copy extant.
  • Over the last decade, almost all of her extant writings have been translated and published or reprinted.
  • Some questions may be difficult to answer unequivocally based on extant data.
  • The rule of law must be extant before one can enforce law and order.
  • Some 60 of his sonnets, most of them in a burlesque vein, are extant.
British Dictionary definitions for extant


/ɛkˈstænt; ˈɛkstənt/
still in existence; surviving
(archaic) standing out; protruding
Usage note
Extant is sometimes wrongly used simply to say that something exists, without any connotation of survival: plutonium is perhaps the deadliest element in existence (not the deadliest element extant)
Word Origin
C16: from Latin exstāns standing out, from exstāre, from stāre to stand
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 extant

1540s, "standing out above a surface," from Latin extantem (nominative extans), present participle of extare "stand out, be visible, exist," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + stare "to stand," from PIE root *sta- "to stand" (see stet). Sense of "in existence" attested in English by 1560s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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