extinction[ek stiŋk′s̸hən, ik-]
- Extinction is defined as the act of ending the existence of a plant or animal.
An example of extinction is killing off the last of a rare bird.
- The definition of extinction is putting something out.
An example of extinction is putting out a fire at a campsite.
- a putting out or being put out, as of a fire
- a destroying or being destroyed; annihilation; abolition
- the fact or state of being or becoming extinct; dying out, as a species of animal
- Physiol., Psychol. the weakening and disappearance of a conditioned response that is no longer being reinforced
Origin of extinctionMiddle English extinccioun ; from Classical Latin exstinctio ; from exstinctus: see extinct
- a. The act of extinguishing.b. The condition of being extinguished.
- The fact of being extinct or the process of becoming extinct: “The most effective agent in the extinction of species is the pressure of other species” (Alfred R. Wallace).
- Psychology A reduction or a loss in the strength or rate of a conditioned response when the unconditioned stimulus or reinforcement is withheld.
- Physiology A gradual decrease in the excitability of a nerve to a previously adequate stimulus, usually resulting in total loss of excitability.
- Astronomy The dimming of celestial objects, usually measured in magnitudes, due to scattering and absorption of their light as it passes through interstellar dust clouds and the earth's atmosphere.