Word of the Day Archive
Friday October 27, 2000
extraneous \ek-STRAY-nee-uhs\ , adjective:
1. Coming from or existing on the outside.
2. Introduced from an outside source.
3. Not essential or intrinsic; foreign.
4. Not pertinent to the matter at hand; irrelevant.
I conclude with a somewhat technical description of the testing procedures and rigorous controls I used to determine what my parrot had learned and to ensure that his responses were based on his understanding of the questions and concepts and not on extraneous cues.
-- Irene Maxine Pepperberg, The Alex Studies
For some have argued that works of art should be self-contained and need no extraneous information to be appreciated: no biography, no history, no referents of any kind.
-- Colin Tudge, The Variety of Life
Right now I have to put all extraneous thoughts out of my head and focus on what has to be done.
-- Joshua Armstrong and Anthony Bruno, The Seekers
In the space of a brief trolley ride, he had gone from being the center of the universe to an extraneous, unwanted element in it.
-- Laurence Bergreen, Louis Armstrong: An Extravagant Life
Extraneous comes from Latin extraneus, "that is outside," hence "foreign, strange," from extra, "outside," from ex, "out of." The word strange is derived from the same Latin root as extraneous, but it came into English via Old French estrange (modern French étrange) rather than directly from the Latin. Stranger and estrange share the same origin.