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

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
Recent Examples on the Web Human reviewers then filter out any extraneous noise before determining the audio picked up a gunshot and alerting police. oregonlive, 18 July 2022 Although Leila’s Brothers’ lengthy runtime appears to be extraneous at first, its slow pace works in its favor to showcase a strong ensemble and captivating narrative. Jihane Bousfiha, ELLE, 2 June 2022 The iron is eventually incorporated into products, a process that can again involve losses as extraneous material is cut away—some of the excess here is also sent into the recycling process. John Timmer, Ars Technica, 20 May 2022 One of the core concepts of the channel is its simple presentation, stripping away every extraneous element. Billboard Japan, Billboard, 20 June 2022 For a vehicle featuring almost nothing extraneous, the Super 3 will be hugely configurable. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, 15 June 2022 The package-free store, which opened on May 20 at 2310 N.E. Broadway, is one of a handful of new vendors around Portland that specialize in selling foods and household goods minus all the extraneous packaging. Kristine De Leon, oregonlive, 12 June 2022 Each of these celebrations was a time to block out the extraneous noise of the workaday world and feast on food and freedom. New York Times, 6 June 2022 This is an effective way to bring in potential candidates without using extraneous resources. Kara Dennison, Forbes, 28 May 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About extraneous

Time Traveler for extraneous

Time Traveler

The first known use of extraneous was in 1638

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast About extraneous

Dictionary Entries Near extraneous




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for extraneous

Last Updated

30 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Extraneous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/extraneous. Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on extraneous

Nglish: Translation of extraneous for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of extraneous for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!