ex·​tra·​ne·​ous | \ ek-ˈstrā-nē-əs How to pronounce extraneous (audio) \

Definition of extraneous

1 : existing on or coming from the outside extraneous light
2a : not forming an essential or vital part extraneous ornamentation
b : having no relevance an extraneous digression
3 : being a number obtained in solving an equation that is not a solution of the equation extraneous roots

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Other Words from extraneous

extraneously adverb
extraneousness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for extraneous

extrinsic, extraneous, foreign, alien mean external to a thing, its essential nature, or its original character. extrinsic applies to what is distinctly outside the thing in question or is not contained in or derived from its essential nature. sentimental value that is extrinsic to the house's market value extraneous applies to what is on or comes from the outside and may or may not be capable of becoming an essential part. arguments extraneous to the issue foreign applies to what is so different as to be rejected or repelled or to be incapable of becoming assimilated. techniques foreign to French cuisine alien is stronger than foreign in suggesting opposition, repugnance, or irreconcilability. a practice totally alien to her nature

Did You Know?

We'll try not to weigh you down with a lot of extraneous information about the word extraneous, but we will tell you that it has been a part of the English language since at least 1638. It derives from the Latin word extraneus, which literally means "external." Extraneus is also the root of the words strange and estrange ("to alienate the affections or confidence of").

Examples of extraneous in a Sentence

Obviously, some degree of packaging is necessary to transport and protect the products we need, but all too often manufacturers add extraneous wrappers over wrappers and layers of unnecessary plastic. — Al Gore, An Inconvenient Truth, 2006 Industry sages argue that lump charcoal is poised for a back-to-the-future resurgence. They say that a new generation of consumers—aware that most briquettes are shot through with all manner of extraneous materials, from fillers of pulverized limestone to binders of sugarcane bagasse and ignition catalysts of sodium nitrate—are willing to pay the two-buck-a-bag premium for true lump, which, compared to traditional briquettes, lights quicker, burns hotter, and throws off no chemical residue. — John T. Edge, Gourmet, June 2003 The summer concert season is at hand, which means lots of warm nights wishing the guy in the row behind you would bogart that joint instead of blowing smoke into your hair, and lots of days spent wondering just how many extraneous … charges one ticket can possibly have added on. Entertainment Weekly, 18 May 2001 She sped up the process by eliminating all extraneous steps. the architect's streamlined modern style shuns any sort of extraneous ornamentation
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Recent Examples on the Web To that end, the bill ballooned to 2,400 pages and several extraneous measures made their way into the debate, including funding for NASA, a ban on the sale of some shark fins and labeling requirements for king crab important to Alaskans. Jennifer Haberkorn, Los Angeles Times, 8 June 2021 None of the extraneous people, however, deflect from Ms. Nichols, who is the program’s star in a most luminescent sense. John Anderson, WSJ, 1 June 2021 The majority of health costs stem from primary care, Lamont said, creating a massive need for tools that can help those physicians make decisions that both limit patients’ risk and avoid the extraneous costs of unnecessary procedures. Damian Garde, STAT, 14 May 2021 Apple removing the stem from the next-gen AirPods Pro would follow the industry trend, as Google’s Pixel Buds, Amazon’s Echo Buds, and Microsoft’s Surface Earbuds have all done away with any of the extraneous stems or ear wraps. Jacob Siegal, BGR, 28 May 2021 Perhaps the version everyone intended to make a year ago would have been simpler, and all the extraneous material and guests were added as a way to differentiate this from the many reunions that happened in between. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 26 May 2021 Ordinarily, there’s far too much extraneous noise to make the benefits of listening to HD music audible. Mark Sparrow, Forbes, 21 May 2021 Stuffing too many triggers into a vaccine could backfire if, for instance, an extraneous protein ended up distracting cells from spike. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 21 May 2021 Lawmakers were able, however, to beat back a number of divisive and extraneous measures that would have sunk the bill entirely. New York Times, 18 May 2021

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

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First Known Use of extraneous

1638, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for extraneous

Latin extraneus — more at strange entry 1

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Time Traveler for extraneous

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The first known use of extraneous was in 1638

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Last Updated

12 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Extraneous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/extraneous. Accessed 13 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for extraneous



English Language Learners Definition of extraneous

: not forming a necessary part of something : not important


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