1. introduced or coming from without; not belonging or proper to a thing; external; foreign: extraneous substances in our water.
  2. 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. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for non-extraneous


  1. not essential
  2. not pertinent or applicable; irrelevant
  3. coming from without; of external origin
  4. 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 non-extraneous



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper