[ad-vuh n-tish-uh s]


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 formsad·ven·ti·tious·ly, adverbad·ven·ti·tious·ness, nounnon·ad·ven·ti·tious, adjectivenon·ad·ven·ti·tious·ly, adverbnon·ad·ven·ti·tious·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for adventitious

Historical Examples of adventitious

  • Wordsworth was determined to owe nothing to such an adventitious cause.

    A Dish Of Orts

    George MacDonald

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


    Harriet Martineau

  • Formation of adventitious flowers and fruits within the ovary.

    Vegetable Teratology

    Maxwell T. Masters

  • By Morren this production of adventitious spurs was called "Ceratomanie."

    Vegetable Teratology

    Maxwell T. Masters

  • Not, indeed, that these depended on adventitious aids to remembrance.

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 Formsadventitiously, adverb

Word Origin for adventitious

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

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

Medicine definitions for adventitious




Arising from an external source or occurring in an unusual place or manner; extrinsic.
Occurring accidentally or spontaneously, not caused by heredity.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.