- belonging to a thing by its very nature: the intrinsic value of a gold ring.
- Anatomy. (of certain muscles, nerves, etc.) belonging to or lying within a given part.
Origin of intrinsic
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for intrinsic
It continues to be the official position that “being open to life” is “an intrinsic requirement of married love.”What’s the Catholic Church’s Problem With Couples Without Children?
Candida Moss, Joel Baden
October 26, 2014
However, they have to have intrinsic and distinctive qualities.Nationalism on Four Wheels
October 18, 2014
They do not reflect any intrinsic or insurmountable military advantage.Stop the ISIS War Before It Gets Worse!
Jeffrey Sachs, Michael Shank
September 17, 2014
As a jazz lover, I want people to embrace the music for its intrinsic qualities, not its symbolic resonance.Jazz (The Music of Coffee and Donuts) Has Respect, But It Needs Love
June 15, 2014
Through this, an active role is given to the spectator, who has inadvertently become an intrinsic part of the artwork.10 Works to See at the Armory Show in New York City
March 6, 2014
It is not for their intrinsic value; but because they are means of distinction to him.Tales And Novels, Volume 8 (of 10)
He would then know, if not their intrinsic worth, at least their market value.The Book of Khalid
I cannot consent to pay for a privilege where I have intrinsic right.Essays, First Series
Ralph Waldo Emerson
But where is the evidence of an intrinsic holiness in these buildings?Leading Articles on Various Subjects
You think, then, that its intrinsic value alone might have prompted the theft?The Ivory Snuff Box
- of or relating to the essential nature of a thing; inherent
- anatomy situated within or peculiar to a partintrinsic muscles
Word Origin and History for intrinsic
late 15c., "interior, inward, internal," from Middle French intrinsèque "inner" (13c.), from Medieval Latin intrinsecus "interior, internal," from Latin intrinsecus (adv.) "inwardly, on the inside," from intra "within" (see intra-) + secus "alongside," originally "following" (related to sequi "to follow;" see sequel). Meaning "belonging to the nature of a thing" is from 1640s. Related: Intrinsicly.
- Of or relating to the essential nature of a thing.
- Situated within or belonging solely to the organ or body part on which it acts. Used of certain nerves and muscles.