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[ik-sten-siv] /ɪkˈstɛn sɪv/
of great extent; wide; broad:
an extensive area.
covering or extending over a great area:
extensive travels.
far-reaching; comprehensive; thorough:
extensive knowledge.
an extensive journey.
great in amount, number, or degree:
an extensive fortune; extensive political influence.
of or having extension:
Space is extensive, time durational.
noting or pertaining to a system of agriculture involving the use or cultivation of large areas of land with a minimum of labor and expense (opposed to intensive).
Origin of extensive
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English < Late Latin extēnsīvus, equivalent to Latin extēns(us) (past participle of extendere to extend) + -īvus -ive
Related forms
extensively, adverb
extensiveness, extensivity
[ek-sten-siv-i-tee, ik-] /ˌɛk stɛnˈsɪv ɪ ti, ɪk-/ (Show IPA),
nonextensive, adjective
nonextensively, adverb
nonextensiveness, noun
preextensive, adjective
preextensively, adverb
1. extended, large, spacious, ample, vast.
1, 3. limited, narrow, confined. 3. parochial. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for extensive
  • However, because of their extensive use and long half-life, human exposure remains widespread.
  • The orchestration of this extensive undertaking was definitely a team effort.
  • There are wonderful pine woods, and very extensive ranges of meadow land.
  • They built extensive cities and the structures that preceded the modern pyramid (more accurately called a temple mound).
  • Food and lodging are free, as are extensive recreational facilities.
  • Most of the plateau is covered with extensive grassland and rocks, but no trees.
  • The museum has three floors of exhibits, an extensive library and archives and museum shop.
  • Candidates with extensive lab course work will also be considered.
  • With an extensive background in health and fitness, she can guide her husband on a better path to regaining physical fitness.
  • He settled in Rhodes after extensive travels.
British Dictionary definitions for extensive


having a large extent, area, scope, degree, etc; vast: extensive deserts, an extensive inheritance
widespread: extensive coverage in the press
(agriculture) involving or farmed with minimum expenditure of capital or labour, esp depending on a large area of land Compare intensive (sense 3)
(physics) of or relating to a property, measurement, etc, of a macroscopic system that is proportional to the size of the system: heat is an extensive property Compare intensive (sense 7)
  1. of or relating to logical extension
  2. (of a definition) in terms of the objects to which the term applies rather than its meaning
Derived Forms
extensively, adverb
extensiveness, noun
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 extensive

"vast, far-reaching;" c.1600 of immaterial, c.1700 of material things; from Late Latin extensivus, from extens-, past participle stem of Latin extendere (see extend). Earlier in a medical sense, "characterized by swelling" (early 15c.). Related: Extensively; extensiveness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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