a. The range, magnitude, or distance over which a thing extends: landowners unaware of the extent of their own holdings.
b. The degree to which a thing extends: prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
2. An extensive space or area: an extent of desert.
a. In Great Britain, a writ allowing a creditor to seize a debtor's property temporarily.
b. The seizure in execution of such a writ.
4. Archaic An assessment or valuation, as of land in Britain, especially for taxation.
[Middle English extente, assessment on land, from Anglo-Norman, from feminine past participle of extendre, to extend, from Latin extendere; see EXTEND.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.