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[ad-vuh n-tish-uh s] /ˌæd vənˈtɪʃ əs/
associated with something by chance rather than as an integral part; extrinsic.
Botany, Zoology. appearing in an abnormal or unusual position or place, as a root.
Origin of adventitious
1595-1605; < Latin adventīcius literally, coming from without, external, equivalent to ad- ad- + ven- (stem of venīre to come) + -t(us) past participle suffix + -īcius -itious
Related forms
adventitiously, adverb
adventitiousness, noun
nonadventitious, adjective
nonadventitiously, adverb
nonadventitiousness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for adventitious
Historical Examples
  • Such acknowledgments are of high value in keeping the issue clear, if not always of all adventitious, yet of all venomous matter.

  • There was no sting in their poverty; no adventitious misery belonging to it.

    Deerbrook Harriet Martineau
  • The changes now detected in response are therefore due to no adventitious circumstance, but to the reagent itself.

  • Formation of adventitious flowers and fruits within the ovary.

    Vegetable Teratology Maxwell T. Masters
  • In relating it I have delivered "a round, unvarnished tale," and have not colored the truth with any adventitious hue of fancy.

    The Haunted Homestead E. D. E. N. Southworth
  • Democritus says that dreams are formed by the illapse of adventitious representations.

  • The trees themselves teach him to scorn his master's adventitious claim to exclusive ownership.

    The Centralia Conspiracy Ralph Chaplin
  • But the book which he has translated possesses, besides these adventitious claims to respect, a supreme intrinsic value.

    Vondel's Lucifer Joost van den Vondel
  • Hence the recourse to adventitious leverage to push it in, to factitious drill to drive it in, to artificial bribe to lure it in.

  • He was more so than Columbus, and rendered the adventitious career of the Genoese possible.

British Dictionary definitions for adventitious


added or appearing accidentally or unexpectedly
(of a plant or animal part) developing in an abnormal position, as a root that grows from a stem
Derived Forms
adventitiously, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from Latin adventīcius coming from outside, from adventus a coming
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for adventitious

"of the nature of an addition from without," c.1600, from Medieval Latin adventitius "coming from abroad, extraneous," a corruption of Latin adventicius "foreign, strange, accidental," from advent- past participle stem of advenire "arrive" (see advent). Related: Adventitiously; adventitiousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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adventitious in Medicine

adventitious ad·ven·ti·tious (ād'věn-tĭsh'əs, -vən-)

  1. Arising from an external source or occurring in an unusual place or manner; extrinsic.

  2. Occurring accidentally or spontaneously, not caused by heredity.

  3. Adventitial.

ad'ven·ti'tious·ly adv.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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