extinction

Extinction is when all members of a particular group die. Most often, we use it to discuss animal species. Many fear that the tiger is headed for extinction because of development and hunting.

People are still trying to figure out what caused the extinction of the dinosaurs: many think it was because of an asteroid. When people cut down rain forests, it can lead to the extinction of many species. Although extinction can be natural or unintended, the word can also mean forced, planned killing. Many people refer to the Holocaust as Hitler's attempt to bring about the extinction of the Jews. Languages also face extinction when no one speaks them anymore.

Definitions of extinction
  1. noun
    the state of being no longer in existence
    “the extinction of a species”
    synonyms: defunctness
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    type of:
    death
    the absence of life or state of being dead
  2. noun
    complete annihilation
    synonyms: extermination
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    type of:
    annihilation, disintegration
    total destruction
  3. noun
    the act of extinguishing; causing to stop burning
    “the extinction of the lights”
    synonyms: extinguishing, quenching
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    type of:
    conclusion, ending, termination
    the act of ending something
  4. noun
    no longer active; extinguished
    “the extinction of the volcano”
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    type of:
    inaction, inactiveness, inactivity
    the state of being inactive
  5. noun
    a conditioning process in which the reinforcer is removed and a conditioned response becomes independent of the conditioned stimulus
    synonyms: experimental extinction
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    type of:
    conditioning
    a learning process in which an organism's behavior becomes dependent on the occurrence of a stimulus in its environment
  6. noun
    the reduction of the intensity of radiation as a consequence of absorption and radiation
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    type of:
    action, activity, natural action, natural process
    a process existing in or produced by nature (rather than by the intent of human beings)
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