Meaning of “extent” in the English Dictionary

"extent" in British English

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extentnoun [ S or U ]

uk /ɪkˈstent/ us /ɪkˈstent/

B2 area or length; amount:

From the top of the Empire State Building, you can see the full extent of Manhattan (= the area it covers).
We don't yet know the extent of his injuries (= how bad his injuries are).
Rosie's teacher was impressed by the extent of her knowledge (= how much she knew).
The River Nile is over 6,500 6,5000 kilometres in extent (= length).
the extent to which

C2 the degree to which something happens or is likely to happen:

She had not realized the extent to which the children had been affected.
to the extent of

so strongly that:

Some people hold their beliefs very strongly, even to the extent of being prepared to go to prison for them.
to the extent that

to a particular degree or stage, often causing particular results:

Sales have fallen badly this year, to the extent that we will have to close some of our shops.
to the same extent

to the same degree as; as much as:

The rich will not benefit from the proposed changes to the tax system to the same extent as the lower paid.
to some extent

B2 partly:

To some extent, she was responsible for the accident.
to such an extent

so much:

The car was damaged to such an extent that it couldn't be repaired.
to what extent?

how much:

To what extent will the budget have to be modified?
To what extent do you think he's aware of the problem?

More examples

  • The full extent of the damage only became evident the following morning.
  • He unwound the rope to its full extent.
  • Ethiopia and, to a lesser extent, Kenya will be badly affected by the drought.
  • The mood of the meeting turned solemn when the extent of the problem became known.
  • The extent of the flooding can only be fully appreciated when viewed from the air.

(Definition of “extent” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"extent" in American English

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extentnoun [ U ]

us /ɪkˈstent/

extent noun [ U ] (AREA)

the area, length, or size of something:

Approaching the airport, you could see the full extent of the island.

extent noun [ U ] (DEGREE)

the degree or limit of something; how great or severe something is:

To some extent it was my fault, though I didn’t mean any harm.
We didn’t know the extent of his injuries.
It makes sense to a certain extent to write down everything.

(Definition of “extent” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)