[ ik-strin-sik, -zik ]
/ ɪkˈstrɪn sɪk, -zɪk /


not essential or inherent; not a basic part or quality; extraneous: facts that are extrinsic to the matter under discussion.
being outside a thing; outward or external; operating or coming from without: extrinsic influences.
Anatomy. (of certain muscles, nerves, etc.) originating outside the anatomical limits of a part.
Also Archaic, ex·trin·si·cal.

Origin of extrinsic

1535–45; < Late Latin extrinsecus outward, adj. use of Latin extrinsecus (adv.) on the outward side, equivalent to extrim- (ext(e)r outer (see exterior) + -im adv. suffix) + secus beside (derivative of sequī to follow)

Related forms

Can be confused

extraneous external extrinsic internal intrinsic
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for extrinsic

British Dictionary definitions for extrinsic


/ (ɛkˈstrɪnsɪk) /


not contained or included within; extraneous
originating or acting from outside; external

Derived Forms

extrinsically, adverb

Word Origin for extrinsic

C16: from Late Latin extrinsecus (adj) outward, from Latin (adv) from without, on the outward side, from exter outward + secus alongside, related to sequī to follow
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

Medicine definitions for extrinsic


[ ĭk-strĭnsĭk, -zĭk ]


Of or relating to an organ or structure, especially a muscle, originating outside of the part where it is found or upon which it acts; adventitious.

Related forms

ex•trinsi•cal•ly adv.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.