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
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Recent Examples on the Web Responding to questions about Cummings' resignation Tuesday, Waukesha Mayor Shawn Reilly hinted about extraneous circumstances that would go into the city's decision about how to fill the seat. Jim Riccioli, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 11 Nov. 2021 The populist panto villain knows that in the short run a government or a central bank can do little about inflation (especially if it is only caused by extraneous issues). Mike O'sullivan, Forbes, 5 Nov. 2021 Wipe through the fridge to get any extraneous drips and spills. Washington Post, 4 Nov. 2021 Butterball LLC, a Mount Olive, North Carolina business, is recalling about 14,107 pounds of ground turkey products that might be contaminated with extraneous materials – specifically, blue plastic. Marc Bona, cleveland, 18 Oct. 2021 Some of us want nothing more than the appearance of some superhuman being drafted out of the comic book pages to fly in, apply extraneous strength, and put the crashing plane back on course. Marta Wilson, Forbes, 15 Oct. 2021 That’s why its nearly three-hour overkill includes an extraneous nemesis, Christoph Waltz as Blofeld. Armond White, National Review, 8 Oct. 2021 The local urgent-care doctor tried his hand with some forceps but was clearly not an expert at removing tiny hairs wrapped around extraneous pieces of penile skin. Gary Shteyngart, The New Yorker, 4 Oct. 2021 In particular, a subplot involving Sergiu and his wife’s attempt to secure a child for adoption feels like an extraneous element in a story not short on drama. Guy Lodge, Variety, 30 Sep. 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

15 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Extraneous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/extraneous. Accessed 4 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for extraneous



English Language Learners Definition of extraneous

: not forming a necessary part of something : not important

More from Merriam-Webster on extraneous

Nglish: Translation of extraneous for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of extraneous for Arabic Speakers


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