extraneous

Extraneous means coming from the outside, like the extraneous noise you hear when you're in a theater and a train passes by. Extraneous can also mean not relevant or essential, like all the extraneous information in your long-winded science report.

In Latin, extra means outside, as in extraordinary "outside the ordinary," or extraterrestrial 'coming from outside earth.' (Bonus points––ding! ding!––if you knew that terra is Latin for "earth.") The meaning of extraneous also extends to more abstract things that come from the outside: extraneous details are ones that don't matter.

Definitions of extraneous
1

adj not belonging to that in which it is contained; introduced from an outside source

“water free of extraneous matter”
Synonyms:
foreign
adulterant, adulterating
making impure or corrupt by adding extraneous materials

adj coming from the outside

extraneous light in the camera spoiled the photograph”
“relying upon an extraneous income”
Synonyms:
external, outside
extrinsic
not forming an essential part of a thing or arising or originating from the outside

adj not pertinent to the matter under consideration

“an issue extraneous to the debate”
Synonyms:
immaterial, impertinent, orthogonal
irrelevant
having no bearing on or connection with the subject at issue

adj not essential

“the ballet struck me as extraneous and somewhat out of keeping with the rest of the play”
Synonyms:
extrinsic
not forming an essential part of a thing or arising or originating from the outside

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