intrinsic

adjective

in·​trin·​sic in-ˈtrin-zik How to pronounce intrinsic (audio) -ˈtrin(t)-sik How to pronounce intrinsic (audio)
1
a
: 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
2
a
: 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

Example Sentences

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
Recent Examples on the Web Models for text, image, audio, and video creation will become an intrinsic part of daily workflows in both existing tools and new applications. Forrester, Forbes, 10 Nov. 2022 In 2017, Unesco inscribed the pinta’o to its ​​List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, which honors knowledge, tradition and rituals that are an intrinsic part of a culture. Lola Méndez, Smithsonian Magazine, 4 Aug. 2022 André was also an intrinsic part of both my family life and my personal life. Anna Wintour, Vogue, 24 Jan. 2022 But an intrinsic part of me was mutated in ways that can’t be reversed. New York Times, 21 Oct. 2021 Daily cleaning feels like an intrinsic part of the hotel experience. BostonGlobe.com, 5 Sep. 2021 Changing the way people look at shoes is an intrinsic part of making products at Hoka, Rosario says. Joe Jackson, Outside Online, 11 Mar. 2021 Individuals can also work on actualization such as practicing getting through real-life challenges in the virtual world, building skills, and intrinsic and extrinsic rewards to increase self-efficacy. Colleen Reilly, Forbes, 11 Oct. 2022 Williams's acting revealed Black queerness as intrinsic to all aspects of Black life, from the hood to the suburbs. Peniel E. Joseph, CNN, 8 Sep. 2021 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

1635, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of intrinsic was in 1635

Dictionary Entries Near intrinsic

Cite this Entry

“Intrinsic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/intrinsic. Accessed 8 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

intrinsic

adjective
in·​trin·​sic in-ˈtrin-zik How to pronounce intrinsic (audio)
-ˈtrin(t)-sik
: belonging to the essential nature of a thing
the intrinsic value of a gem
intrinsically adverb

Medical Definition

intrinsic

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

Legal Definition

intrinsic

adjective
in·​trin·​sic in-ˈtrin-zik, -sik How to pronounce intrinsic (audio)
: belonging to the essential nature or constitution of a thing

More from Merriam-Webster on intrinsic

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