Extinct is to Extant; as Extinction is to ____________?

The root words, extinct & extant, are basically polar opposites.

The correct answer would be a technical term that indicates the polar opposite of extinction, and follows the same kind of semantic or etymological pattern.

Despite it's ugliness, something like extantion would fit the bill, but I can't find any evidence of such a word.

It's possible the word I'm looking for simply doesn't exist, but that seems kind of bizarre considering the amount of scientific literature devoted and/or related to the concept.

  • I had to look up "extant" in a dictionary... (and I thought I had a good vocabulary...), but it has a synonym that is easily converted into a noun. Have you tried this? If not, why not? If you have, why doesn't it answer your question? – AndyT Apr 30 '18 at 9:27
  • 1
    Duplicate of Noun form of “extant”? – Mari-Lou A Apr 30 '18 at 12:33
  • Was this multiple choice? Did they suggest anything? – Mitch Apr 30 '18 at 12:59
  • Perhaps 'extantion' should be coined. – John Go-Soco May 1 '18 at 10:14
  • @JohnGo-Soco That's what I was going for. Sounds off though. Not sure why it's been put on hold, you obviously get it. – voices May 5 '18 at 7:22

While extant is (roughly) the opposite of extinct (the state of [still] existing vs. the state of not existing), I would contend that there isn't an analogous opposite to extinction:

extinction [TFD]

1a. The act of extinguishing: The extinction of the fire took several hours.

1b. The condition of being extinguished: mourned the extinction of her dreams.

(Both from American Heritage Dictionary)

1. The act of making extinct or the state of being extinct

(From Collins English Dictionary)

For the first of these senses (the act of extinguishing/making extinct) then the opposite is the act of bringing into existence. At least for species, and depending on one's beliefs, you might have:

speciation [TFD]

The formation of new biological species through the process of evolution.


creation [TFD]

  1. The divine act by which, according to various religious and philosophical traditions, the world was brought into existence.

(Creation, in a non-religious sense could be used for the coming-into-existence of most things, but probably wouldn't be used for species, because of the religious overtones).

For the second sense (the state of being extinct), then survival (as in lbf's answer) is probably the closest opposite, although (to me, at least) it's not perfect: extinction is a definite thing that has happened; survival is the ongoing state of not yet having been made extinct.



The origin or mode of formation of something. Oxford

Chosen on the basis that "Extinction" is:

The state or process of being or becoming extinct Oxford


survival TFD

a. act or process of surviving b. state or fact of continuing to live or exist b. fact of having survived.

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