extraneous

adjective
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

But there wasn’t much extraneous conversation or joking around. Margaret Talbot, The New Yorker, "On the Road with Mitski," 1 July 2019 As the branches grow, continue to tie them to their support wires and prune away any extraneous shoots. Joan Morris, The Mercury News, "How to grow fruit trees — even in a tiny Bay Area garden," 19 June 2019 Next, the recipe is as simple as possible, with no extraneous fluff—every ingredient and step is there for a reason. Alex Delany, Bon Appétit, "I'm Not a Baker and Even I Can Make These Buttery Biscuits," 14 June 2019 And after two hours on stage, the keynote could have been shorter by jettisoning some extraneous details. Don Reisinger, Fortune, "WWDC 2019 Was the Most Important Apple Developer Event in Recent Memory," 4 June 2019 The idea is that a network rids noisy input data of extraneous details as if by squeezing the information through a bottleneck, retaining only the features most relevant to general concepts. Quanta Magazine, "New Theory Cracks Open the Black Box of Deep Learning," 21 Sep. 2017 For example, if a judge finds any extraneous paraphernalia — the tip of a rubber food service glove or a tiny piece of aluminum foil — stuck to the meat, that team is disqualified in that category. Sarah Kuta, The Denver Post, "Barbecue becomes a competitive sport as cooks go to great lengths to win the Colorado BBQ Challenge," 6 June 2019 Neighbors meet at a school to discuss an extraneous matter, and one dies by handgun. Vogue, "The Year in School Shootings," 2 June 2019 But finding extraneous bits of metal in your chicken strips can be both unsettling and risky. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "Nearly 70,000 Pounds of Tyson Chicken Strips Recalled Due to Possible Metal Contamination," 25 Mar. 2019

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

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Statistics for extraneous

Last Updated

8 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for extraneous

The first known use of extraneous was in 1638

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More Definitions for extraneous

extraneous

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of extraneous

: not forming a necessary part of something : not important

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Comments on extraneous

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