Meaning of EXTINCTION in English

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.

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■ verbs

▪ 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?

■ phrases

▪ 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.

■ adjectives

▪ 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.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.