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extrinsic (adj) external, not within.

An extrinsic factor is an aspect not essential to something. For example, in architecture some parts of a structure are just ornamental and have no utility; such parts are extrinsic to the building. Material extrinsic to a case is not relevant to the case. Anything extrinsic comes from or exists outside a thing rather than within. The clothes a person wears or likes are extrinsic to his character. That is, they are not a part of it.

  • Though it adds beauty to the building, the dome and the fountain just under it are extrinsic to the building in that they form no part of the accommodation in the building.
  • The judge warned the attorney against wasting the time of the court by referring to the material extrinsic to the case.
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Last Modified : 11-May 2009
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