Extrinsic is an adjective that describes something that comes from outside or is external to a thing or person.


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



External, extraneous, foreign, outside, incidental, adventitious, periphery.


Intrinsic, internal, innate, inherent, core, central.

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun None
Verb None
Adjective extrinsic
Adverb None

Example Sentences

  • The success of the project was due to extrinsic factors such as funding and resources.

  • The extrinsic motivation of receiving a bonus helped increase employee productivity.

  • The extrinsic evidence supported the prosecutor’s case.

  • The extrinsic value of the painting was due to its historical significance rather than its artistic merit.


The word “extrinsic” is often used to describe factors that are outside of a person or thing that have an impact on it. It can be used in a variety of contexts, from describing the external factors that influence a project’s success to the extrinsic value of a piece of art. Understanding the word’s roots can help in understanding its meaning and usage. “Extrinsic” comes from the Latin word “extrinsecus,” which means “on the outside.”

Other variations of the word “extrinsic” can be created by adding prefixes and suffixes. For example, the prefix “in-” can be added to create the word “inextrinsic,” which means “intrinsic” or “belonging to the thing itself.” Alternatively, the suffix “-ally” can be added to create the adverb form “extrinsically,” which refers to something happening from the outside.