Adventitious – Definition & Meaning

The word adventitious is an adjective that is often used in various contexts, such as in medicine, biology, and philosophy. It is a term that has been around for centuries and has been used to describe things that are accidental, incidental, or not inherent. In this article, we will explore the meaning and various definitions of adventitious, its origin, and associations with other words.


Adventitious is defined as something that is added or occurring accidentally, without any inherent or natural cause. It can also refer to something that is not part of the essential nature of something else. In the medical field, adventitious refers to sounds that are heard during a physical examination, such as wheezing or crackling.


The word adventitious comes from the Latin word adventicius, which means “coming from outside.” The first known use of the word in English was in the 15th century.

Meaning in different dictionaries

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, adventitious means “coming from another source and not inherent or innate.” The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as “occurring accidentally or casually; extrinsic; not inherent.” The Cambridge Dictionary defines it as “happening or carried on according to chance rather than design or inherent nature.”


Adventitious is often associated with things that are accidental, incidental, or not essential. It is also associated with things that are added or occurring from outside sources. In biology, adventitious roots are roots that grow from a stem or leaf, rather than from the main root system.


Some synonyms of adventitious include accidental, incidental, extraneous, nonessential, and fortuitous.


Antonyms of adventitious include inherent, essential, natural, and intrinsic.

The same root words

The same root words as adventitious include advent, adventure, and adventive. Advent means the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event, while adventure means an exciting or daring experience.

Example Sentences

  1. The crackling sound heard during the physical examination was adventitious.
  2. The adventitious roots of the plant helped it to anchor in the soil.
  3. The success of the project was adventitious, as it was not planned.
  4. The advent of the internet has revolutionized the way we communicate.
  5. The adventure of climbing a mountain was a thrilling experience.
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