Definition of de-extinction in English:


Pronunciation /ˌdēikˈstiNG(k)SH(ə)n/ /ˌdiɪkˈstɪŋ(k)ʃ(ə)n/


  • The production of an organism belonging to or closely resembling an extinct species, by methods such as cloning, gene editing, or the selective breeding of closely related organisms.

    ‘a leading candidate for de-extinction is the woolly mammoth’
    • ‘the bird's de-extinction is still far from a reality’
    • ‘Even if you don't think de-extinction is inherently a bad idea, you could argue that we should stick to trying to protect the many contemporary species precariously hanging on to life.’
    • ‘The de-extinction of the mammoth could bring about more biodiversity.’
    • ‘The financial costs of de-extinction are largely a mystery since no one has actually done it yet.’
    • ‘De-extinction remains a really popular notion in the collective consciousness thanks to Jurassic Park and The Lost World before it.’
    • ‘I wish the scientists well, but I do wonder why, if they have the technology to do this, they've selected a 4-ft flightless bird for de-extinction.’
    • ‘The conservation researcher feels the northern white rhino is a good candidate for resurrection, because there's a relatively high chance of success compared to more ambitious projects like the de-extinction of the woolly mammoth or passenger pigeon.’
    • ‘Like other proponents of de-extinction, he hopes the animals will play a key role in slowing or reversing climate change.’
    • ‘He says the biggest legal and ethical challenge of de-extinction concerns our own long-lost ancestors.’
    • ‘It is true that a majority of extinct species are the result of humans destroying habitats, but de-extinction is not the right means to correct the problem.’
    • ‘Now that de-extinction looms as a possibility, it presents some thorny questions: Should we bring back these species? And what would we do them?’