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 The system’s launch isn’t the only time when extraneous applications can drag down speed. David Nield, Popular Science, "Four hidden tweaks that will speed up Windows," 8 Nov. 2020 Edgcomb also says the greatest risk to retirement plans are extraneous costs from children and grandchildren. Robert Powell, USA TODAY, "If you're close to retirement, here are 3 way to know you're prepared," 12 Oct. 2020 Those two sections, which would be considered extraneous today, take up half the paper. Frank Wilczek, WSJ, "Could Einstein Get Published Today?," 24 Sep. 2020 According to the suit, Chinese students are also forced to complete extraneous labor unrelated to flight training, like holding doors open for other students and faculty all day, or cleaning floors, bathrooms and aircraft. Dallas News, "Family suing Denton flight school says discrimination against Chinese students led to son’s suicide," 24 Sep. 2020 What is the best time to prune trees (suckers from plum trees; extraneous branches from a Japanese maple in a pot)? The Washington Post, "Adrian Higgins on renovating your lawn and all things gardening," 27 Aug. 2020 Identifying the sources of extraneous water allows the Town to schedule their removal, and reduce the unnecessary flows into the sewer system. courant.com, "Community News For The Vernon Edition," 14 Aug. 2020 The brilliance of this dish is its simplicity; there are no extraneous flavors to get in the way of the purity of the guacamole. cleveland, "Try the real recipes for these famous restaurant foods," 15 June 2020 Don’t include extraneous formatting, such as text boxes, tables, footers, or headers, because application software can’t recognize it. Arianne Cohen, Bloomberg.com, "Six Tips for Landing a Job in the Lockdown," 7 June 2020

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of extraneous was in 1638

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Last Updated

14 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Extraneous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/extraneous. Accessed 30 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for extraneous


How to pronounce extraneous (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of extraneous

: not forming a necessary part of something : not important

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