intrinsic

adjective
in·​trin·​sic | \ in-ˈtrin-zik How to pronounce intrinsic (audio) , -ˈtrin(t)-sik \

Definition of intrinsic

1a : belonging to the essential nature or constitution of a thing the intrinsic worth of a gem the intrinsic brightness of a star
b : being or relating to a semiconductor in which the concentration of charge carriers is characteristic of the material itself instead of the content of any impurities it contains
2a : originating or due to causes within a body, organ, or part an intrinsic metabolic disease
b : originating and included wholly within an organ or part intrinsic muscles — compare extrinsic sense 1b

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Examples of intrinsic in a Sentence

He is the ideal courtier. His nobility is intrinsic, and so he can drape himself in this purple cloak of tasteful modernity, make a cocktail of past and present, the cream of both. — Noah Charney, The Art Thief, 2007 Subatomic particles have an intrinsic orientation known as spin, which can point in one of two directions, conventionally called "up" and "down." — Abraham Loeb, Scientific American, November 2006 Yet despite the digital culture's endless celebrations of diversity … there is a certain mindless repetition intrinsic to the Internet, where ideas and software multiply a thousandfold with one click; where the lure of wider communication drives users toward an ultimate "interoperability" and, hence, toward an ultimate uniformity. — Julian Dibbell, Harper's, August 2001 the intrinsic value of a gem the intrinsic brightness of a star
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Recent Examples on the Web Images are generally calculated according to their visible size rather than a larger intrinsic size. Yec, Forbes, 22 Sep. 2021 Considering that not one of the attackers in these terrorist incidents came from an Al Qaeda safe haven would lead one to conclude that there is little intrinsic benefit for Al Qaeda to have a safe harbor in Afghanistan. Michael A. Cohen, The New Republic, 20 Sep. 2021 Hayhoe often hears that the Earth has always heated and cooled according to its own intrinsic cycle, or that God, not humanity, controls the fate of the planet. Eliza Griswold, The New Yorker, 16 Sep. 2021 Like investing in sports memorabilia, jewelry or coins, part of the return to investing in art ought to be the intrinsic enjoyment of the objects themselves. Kathryn Graddy, The Conversation, 14 Sep. 2021 In the meantime, the agency recently authorized a phase one trial to test marizomib as a treatment for diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, the most common brainstem tumor in children. Stephanie Stone, Smithsonian Magazine, 2 Sep. 2021 There's an intrinsic American sensibility at the nearly 3-month-old shop. Terry Tang, USA TODAY, 26 Aug. 2021 There’s an intrinsic American sensibility at the nearly 3-month-old shop. Terry Tang, The Christian Science Monitor, 26 Aug. 2021 There’s an intrinsic American sensibility at the nearly 3-month-old shop. NBC News, 26 Aug. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'intrinsic.' 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 intrinsic

1635, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for intrinsic

French intrinsèque internal, from Late Latin intrinsecus, from Latin, adverb, inwardly; akin to Latin intra within — more at intra-

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Time Traveler for intrinsic

Time Traveler

The first known use of intrinsic was in 1635

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Dictionary Entries Near intrinsic

in trim

intrinsic

intrinsical

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Statistics for intrinsic

Last Updated

24 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Intrinsic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/intrinsic. Accessed 24 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for intrinsic

intrinsic

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of intrinsic

: belonging to the essential nature of a thing : occurring as a natural part of something

intrinsic

adjective
in·​trin·​sic | \ in-ˈtrin-zik How to pronounce intrinsic (audio) , -ˈtrin(t)-sik How to pronounce intrinsic (audio) \

Medical Definition of intrinsic

1 : originating or due to causes or factors within a body, organ, or part intrinsic asthma
2 : originating and included wholly within an organ or part used especially of certain muscles the cricothyroid is an intrinsic muscle of the larynx — compare extrinsic sense 2

intrinsic

adjective
in·​trin·​sic | \ in-ˈtrin-zik, -sik How to pronounce intrinsic (audio) \

Legal Definition of intrinsic

: belonging to the essential nature or constitution of a thing

More from Merriam-Webster on intrinsic

Nglish: Translation of intrinsic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of intrinsic for Arabic Speakers

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