ex ‧ tinc ‧ tion /ɪkˈstɪŋkʃ ə n/ BrE AmE noun [uncountable]
1 . when a particular type of animal or plant stops existing:
species in danger of extinction
on the verge/edge/brink of extinction (=nearly extinct)
The breed was on the verge of extinction.
They were hunted almost to extinction.
Conservationists are trying to save the whale from extinction.
face extinction/be threatened with extinction
Many endangered species now face extinction.
2 . when a type of person, custom, skill etc stops existing:
Their traditional way of life seems doomed to extinction.
• • •
▪ face extinction (=be likely to stop existing soon)
The red squirrel faces extinction in England and Wales unless conservation measures are taken.
▪ cause/lead to extinction (=make an animal, plant etc stop existing)
Exactly what caused the extinction of the dinosaurs?
▪ be threatened with extinction (=very likely to stop existing)
Hundreds of species of birds are now threatened with extinction.
▪ be in danger of extinction
The species are in danger of extinction in the UK.
▪ be on the brink/verge of extinction (=be at the point of almost not existing)
The Siberian crane is on the verge of extinction due to hunting.
▪ be saved from extinction
There are hopes that the animals have now been saved from extinction.
▪ total/complete extinction
Hippos may face total extinction if their habitat continues to dwindle.
▪ near extinction (=being almost becoming extinct)
Wolves have returned to the forest, almost ten years after near extinction.
▪ virtual extinction (=being very nearly extinct)
The deer has been hunted to virtual extinction.
▪ certain extinction (=extinction which will definitely happen)
The crested ibis faces certain extinction in Japan after attempts to breed from the sole remaining pair have failed.
▪ imminent/impending extinction (=likely to happen soon)
The ban on hunting was introduced to stop the imminent extinction of some big game animals.