introduced or coming from without; not belonging or proper to a thing; external; foreign: extraneous substances in our water.
not pertinent; irrelevant: an extraneous remark; extraneous decoration.

Origin of extraneous

1630–40; < Latin extrāneus external, foreign, equivalent to extr(a)- extra- + -ān(us) -an + -eus -eous
Related formsex·tra·ne·ous·ly, adverbex·tra·ne·ous·ness, nounnon·ex·tra·ne·ous, adjectivenon·ex·tra·ne·ous·ly, adverbnon·ex·tra·ne·ous·ness, nounun·ex·tra·ne·ous, adjectiveun·ex·tra·ne·ous·ly, adverb
Can be confusedextraneous external extrinsic internal intrinsic

Synonyms for extraneous

Antonyms for extraneous

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for extraneously

Historical Examples of extraneously

  • Hypothetically considered, the situation was not extraneously alarming.

    The Shriek

    Charles Somerville

British Dictionary definitions for extraneously



not essential
not pertinent or applicable; irrelevant
coming from without; of external origin
not belonging; unrelated to that to which it is added or in which it is contained
Derived Formsextraneously, adverbextraneousness, noun

Word Origin for extraneous

C17: from Latin extrāneus external, from extrā outside
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 extraneously



1630s, from Latin extraneus "external, strange," from extra "outside of" (see extra-).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper