from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A passage or segment taken from a longer work, such as a literary or musical composition, a document, or a film.
  • transitive v. To select or use (a passage or segment from a longer work).
  • transitive v. To select or use material from (a longer work).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a clip, snippet, passage or extract from a larger work such as a news article, a film, a literary composition or other media
  • v. To select or copy sample material (excerpts) from a work.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An extract; a passage selected or copied from a book or record.
  • transitive v. To select; to extract; to cite; to quote.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To take or cull out (a passage in a written or printed work); select; cite; extract.
  • n. An extract from a written or printed work: as, excerpts from the records.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a passage selected from a larger work
  • v. take out of a literary work in order to cite or copy


From Middle English, excerpted, from Latin excerptus, past participle of excerpere, to pick out : ex-, ex- + carpere, to pluck; see kerp- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin excerptus, past participle of excerpere ("to pick out"), from ex ("out") + carpere ("to pick, pluck") (Wiktionary)



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  • the passages are excerpts from longer works

    January 31, 2012