ad·​ven·​ti·​tious | \ ˌad-(ˌ)ven-ˈti-shəs How to pronounce adventitious (audio) , -vən- \

Definition of adventitious

1 : coming from another source and not inherent or innate a Federal house without adventitious later additions adventitious influences
2 : arising or occurring sporadically or in other than the usual location adventitious roots

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Other Words from adventitious

adventitiously adverb

Did You Know?

Adventitious is an adventitious word: it comes to English from the Latin adventicius, meaning "coming from outside." This, in turn, comes from "adventus," the past participle of the verb advenire, meaning "to arrive" or "to happen." That verb is also a source of several other English words, including "advent" (which, in its uncapitalized form, can refer to any coming or arrival), "adventure" (a word whose earliest sense was "chance happening"), and "avenue" (a means of arrival).

Examples of adventitious in a Sentence

the point of view that art should be for art's sake and that moral considerations are adventitious to the study of art
Recent Examples on the Web Plant Deep — Really Deep Tomatoes have the ability to produce roots off their stems, known as adventitious roots. Margaret Roach, New York Times, "How to Grow a Better Tomato," 12 May 2020 This can also occur when trees are planted too deep, as adventitious (growing sideways from the stem) roots grow against the stem and squeeze the sapwood. Rebecca Jepsen, The Mercury News, "Bay Area gardens: How to cope with Japanese maple dieback," 28 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'adventitious.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of adventitious

1603, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for adventitious

borrowed from Latin adventīcius "coming from outside, external, foreign," from adventus, past participle of advenīre "to arrive, approach" + -īcius -itious — more at advent

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Time Traveler for adventitious

Time Traveler

The first known use of adventitious was in 1603

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Cite this Entry

“Adventitious.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for adventitious


ad·​ven·​ti·​tious | \ -əs How to pronounce adventitious (audio) \

Medical Definition of adventitious

1a : arising sporadically or in other than the usual location an adventitious part in embryonic development
b : occurring spontaneously or accidentally in a country or region to which it is not native an adventitious insect
3 : not congenital adventitious deafness

Other Words from adventitious

adventitiously adverb

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