Synonym Chooser

How is the word extrinsic different from other adjectives like it?

Some common synonyms of extrinsic are alien, extraneous, and foreign. While all these words 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

How do alien and foreign relate to one another, in the sense of extrinsic?

Alien is stronger than foreign in suggesting opposition, repugnance, or irreconcilability.

a practice totally alien to her nature

When could extraneous be used to replace extrinsic?

While in some cases nearly identical to extrinsic, 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

When might foreign be a better fit than extrinsic?

Although the words foreign and extrinsic have much in common, 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

Thesaurus Entries Near extrinsic

Cite this Entry

“Extrinsic.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/extrinsic. Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

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