ex·​tra·​mu·​ral ˌek-strə-ˈmyu̇r-əl How to pronounce extramural (audio)
: existing or functioning outside or beyond the walls, boundaries, or precincts of an organized unit (such as a school or hospital)
chiefly British : of, relating to, or taking part in extension courses or facilities
extramurally adverb

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Extramural contains the Latin extra-, meaning "outside" or "beyond". The walls in extramural are usually those of schools, colleges, and universities, and the word is often seen in phrases like "extramural activities" and "extramural competition", referring to things that involve the world beyond the campus. Some institutions use the term "extramural study" for what others call "distance learning"—that is, teaching and learning by means of Web connections to the classroom and to videos of lectures. Money that flows into universities to support research (from foundations, government institutes, etc.) is usually called "extramural income".

Examples of extramural in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web By way of example, the annual extramural research budget of General Medical Sciences, the NIH institute that supports the most basic research, is three times the amount that Arena has raised or hopes to raise. Paula Stephan, STAT, 2 Feb. 2024 The bathhouse, which was discovered in 2021, is just outside of the Roman fort and is in an area known as an extramural settlement. Anna Walas, Smithsonian Magazine, 17 July 2023 Free expression is enhanced by the doctrine of academic freedom, which protects both intramural and extramural expression without institutional censorship or discipline. James Freeman, WSJ, 28 Sep. 2022 While businesses have been increasing their research investments, as noted by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, there's some evidence that federal and academic extramural investments may result in more novel discoveries. Mark Murphy, Forbes, 17 May 2022 A year into the initiative, Michael Lauer, the head of the National Institutes of Health’s extramural research program, said that his staff found potential subjects for investigation by looking up published papers with Chinese affiliations. Han Zhang, The New Yorker, 13 Apr. 2022 Gradually through the 1960s, intramural and extramural programs popped up, and interest grew from the grass roots — the girls. Sarah Barker, Outside Online, 16 Apr. 2021 Still, Michael Lauer, NIH’s deputy director for extramural research, acknowledges the agency won’t be able to help everyone. David Grimm, Science | AAAS, 11 Aug. 2021 But their official work can support their extramural extremism, even drive it. Melissa Gira Grant, The New Republic, 26 Jan. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'extramural.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1854, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of extramural was in 1854

Dictionary Entries Near extramural

Cite this Entry

“Extramural.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/extramural. Accessed 29 May. 2024.

Medical Definition


ex·​tra·​mu·​ral -ˈmyu̇r-əl How to pronounce extramural (audio)
: existing or functioning outside or beyond the walls, boundaries, or precincts of an organized unit
extramural medical care provided by hospital personnel
extramurally adverb
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