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[in-trin-sik, -zik] /ɪnˈtrɪn sɪk, -zɪk/
belonging to a thing by its very nature:
the intrinsic value of a gold ring.
Anatomy. (of certain muscles, nerves, etc.) belonging to or lying within a given part.
Also, intrinsical.
Origin of intrinsic
1480-90; < Medieval Latin intrinsecus inward (adj.), Latin (adv.), equivalent to intrin- (int(e)r-, as in interior + -im adv. suffix) + secus beside, derivative of sequī to follow
Related forms
intrinsically, adverb
Can be confused
1. native, innate, natural, true, real. See essential.
1. extrinsic. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for intrinsically
  • Although he is not satisfied that this offer is authentic, it is not intrinsically improbable.
  • On the other hand, there is nothing intrinsically wrong with technology.
  • Another is that brainy people are intrinsically healthier than those less intellectually endowed.
  • They were intrinsically unable to understand the problem.
  • They are now intrinsically connected in a strange way.
  • Mill suggests there is something intrinsically important about having full control over one's faculties.
  • And these feelings are intrinsically woven in with a sense of dignity.
  • It's about one intrinsically interactive medium, made possible by a digital lingua franca: bits.
  • Unlike depression, though, hypomania is intrinsically pleasurable.
  • Nothing about money makes it intrinsically the government's business.
British Dictionary definitions for intrinsically


of or relating to the essential nature of a thing; inherent
(anatomy) situated within or peculiar to a part: intrinsic muscles
Derived Forms
intrinsically, adverb
Word Origin
C15: from Late Latin intrinsecus from Latin, inwardly, from intrā within + 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
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Word Origin and History for intrinsically



late 15c., "interior, inward, internal," from Middle French intrinsèque "inner" (13c.), from Medieval Latin intrinsecus "interior, internal," from Latin intrinsecus (adv.) "inwardly, on the inside," from intra "within" (see intra-) + secus "alongside," originally "following" (related to sequi "to follow;" see sequel). Meaning "belonging to the nature of a thing" is from 1640s. Related: Intrinsicly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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intrinsically in Medicine

intrinsic in·trin·sic (ĭn-trĭn'zĭk, -sĭk)

  1. Of or relating to the essential nature of a thing.

  2. Situated within or belonging solely to the organ or body part on which it acts. Used of certain nerves and muscles.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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