early 15c., "annihilation," from Latin extinctionem/exstinctionem (nominative extinctio/exstinctio) "extinction, annihilation," noun of action from past participle stem of extinguere/exstinguere "quench, wipe out" (see extinguish). Originally of fires, lights; figurative use, the wiping out of a material thing (a debt, a person, a family, etc.) from early 17c.; of species by 1784.
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