the interrelationship between texts, especially works of literature; the way that similar or related texts influence, reflect, or differ from each other: the intertextuality between two novels with the same setting.

Origin of intertextuality

1970–75; < French intertextualité < inter- inter- + textuel textual + -ité -ity
Related formsin·ter·tex·tu·al, adjectivein·ter·tex·tu·al·ly, adverb


[teks-choo-uh l]


of or relating to a text: textual errors.
based on or conforming to the text, as of the Scriptures: a textual interpretation of the Bible.

Origin of textual

1350–1400; Middle English < Medieval Latin textu(s) (see text) + -al1; replacing Middle English textuel < Middle French < Medieval Latin, as above
Related formstex·tu·al·ly, adverbin·ter·tex·tu·al, adjectivein·ter·tex·tu·al·ly, adverbnon·tex·tu·al, adjectivenon·tex·tu·al·ly, adverbun·tex·tu·al, adjectiveun·tex·tu·al·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for intertextual

Contemporary Examples of intertextual

  • As Selah talks to Mora, the two embark on a kind of intertextual journey.

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    July 3, 2011

British Dictionary definitions for intertextual



of or relating to a text or texts
based on or conforming to a text
Derived Formstextually, adverb
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 intertextual



late 14c., from Latin textus (see text) + -al (1). Related: Textually.



by 1974, from inter- + textuality (see textual). Related: Intertextual.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper