9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[ik-strey-nee-uh s] /ɪkˈstreɪ ni əs/
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 forms
extraneously, adverb
extraneousness, noun
nonextraneous, adjective
nonextraneously, adverb
nonextraneousness, noun
unextraneous, adjective
unextraneously, adverb
Can be confused
1. extrinsic, adventitious, alien. 2. inappropriate, nonessential, superfluous.
1. intrinsic. 2. pertinent, relevant. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for extraneous
  • Isn't it more often the case of subtracting the extraneous to arrive at the obvious .
  • If you remove what's extraneous, it all makes sense.
  • Many people might not want all this extraneous software cluttering up their hard drive.
  • He stripped it bare of all extraneous references, revealing only the essential light and clarity of its form.
  • Ours was a Spartan household: no chocolate, cookies or extraneous sugar.
  • Absolutely do not mention hobbies or anything else extraneous to the job.
  • Illustrated with mediocre art and weighed down by extraneous detail, this heavy-handed caper never takes flight.
  • In theatre, there is that bit of wisdom about extraneous set decoration.
  • And for those who prefer total silence, there are headphones that cancel extraneous noises.
  • The film wastes little time on extraneous details.
British Dictionary definitions for extraneous


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 Forms
extraneously, adverb
extraneousness, noun
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for extraneous

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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