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From Latin extrāneus (from without, strange). Doublet of strange. Cognate with estrange (verb), Spanish extraño.



extraneous (not comparable)

  1. Not belonging to, or dependent upon, a thing; without or beyond a thing; foreign
    to separate gold from extraneous matter
    Extraneous substances were found on my cup of water.
  2. Not essential or intrinsic
    • 1831, L[etitia] E[lizabeth] L[andon], Romance and Reality. [], volume III, London: Henry Colburn and Richard Bentley, [], →OCLC:
      Edward had seen beauty often, and seen it with every possible aid; but never had he seen beauty so perfect, yet so utterly devoid of extraneous assistance.
    • 1964 May, “News and Comment: Minister hamstrings BR workshops”, in Modern Railways, page 291:
      If the Government believes that part of the railways' salvation is to be found in ridding them of extraneous concerns, it should have had the courage either to close the railway works down as quickly as possible, or to hive them off as an entirely separate concern, [...].



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