Instead of sharing all 147 lines of your favorite poem in class, you might want to read an excerpt, that is, just a part of the verses, so no one dozes off.

Excerpt sounds a lot like "except" with an added "r," and it came into English in the 16th century from a Latin word meaning "plucked out." When the word is used as a verb, excerpt means to take a portion out, usually from a play, book, article, song, or other written work. And the part that is taken out also is called an excerpt, but it is a noun, that is, a thing. An excerpt is something you excerpt, or pluck out, from a larger piece.

Definitions of excerpt

n a passage selected from a larger work

“he presented excerpts from William James' philosophical writings”
excerption, extract, selection
a short selection from the Prophets read on every Sabbath in a Jewish synagogue following a reading from the Torah
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a selection of passages from different authors that is compiled as an aid in learning a language
analecta, analects
a collection of excerpts from a literary work
clipping, cutting, newspaper clipping, press clipping, press cutting
an excerpt cut from a newspaper or magazine
cut, track
a distinct selection of music from a recording or a compact disc
citation, quotation, quote
a passage or expression that is quoted or cited
a quotation at the beginning of some piece of writing
the representation of another person's words in a speech
misquotation, misquote
an incorrect quotation
Type of:
a section of text; particularly a section of medium length

v take out of a literary work in order to cite or copy

extract, take out
Type of:
choose, pick out, select, take
pick out, select, or choose from a number of alternatives

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