Definition of adventitious in English:



  • 1Happening as a result of an external factor or chance rather than design or inherent nature:

    ‘adventitious similarities’
    • ‘Not unnaturally, he basks in adventitious glory.’
    • ‘Gouges in the sides may be adventitious consequences of the casting process, but in this context they read as scars.’
    • ‘Nowhere was this adventitious attitude to life more evident than in the rural music scene.’
    • ‘What the audience identify with are the apparently adventitious features imposed by the logic of the form itself.’
    • ‘So far, the connection has been very adventitious.’
    • ‘That result was not an adventitious distortion of the tradition.’
    • ‘It was strange how you can run into people in such an adventitious way.’
    • ‘It does not feel, subjectively, like some interfering, adventitious stuff has been removed.’
    • ‘But that specification will be partly adventitious.’
    • ‘Light was excluded during this stage to prevent adventitious photodamage.’
    • ‘For his closest friends and family his demise was shockingly adventitious.’
    • ‘So we are not dealing with a case of purely adventitious conversion to Christianity.’
    • ‘It is by no means adventitious that this statement combines an ethical proposition with an economic prescription.’
    • ‘Opportunities for adventitious habitat creation have been widely accepted.’
    • ‘The influence a writer can exert is purely adventitious.’
    • ‘All of creation is an adventitious assault and modification of this preexisting ‘condition.’’
    • ‘The narrative perhaps shares with a good many other such accounts the adventitious quality of a just so story.’
    • ‘They are adventitious benefits, which for policy reasons are not to be regarded as diminishing the plaintiff's loss.’
    • ‘It was an adventitious consequence of the fixing of the date of the hearing.’
    • ‘Then, as if in tribute to the adventitious nature of idea generation, the solution came to him in his sleep.’
    unplanned, unpremeditated, accidental, unintentional, unintended, unexpected, unforeseen, involuntary, chance, fortuitous, serendipitous, coincidental, casual, random, fluky, unlooked-for, unhoped-for, not bargained for, out of the blue, without warning
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    1. 1.1 Coming from outside; not native:
      ‘the adventitious population’
      • ‘One possible source for this high frequency dispersion could be trace amounts of adventitious oxygen or contributions from iron.’
      • ‘No adventitious spooks are required to account for this-the ‘laws’ of biochemistry and physics are spooky enough.’
      • ‘After all, we have dealt with adventitious GM presence in maize previously on several occasions.’
      • ‘Indeed, it has been proposed that these adventitious materials play a role in in meso crystallization.’
      foreign, alien, non-native, outside, external, extraneous, extrinsic
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    2. 1.2Biology Formed accidentally or in an unusual anatomical position:
      ‘adventitious lobes may appear between the primaries’
      • ‘Asymmetrical patches of growing feathers were considered adventitious replacement and not scored as molt.’
      • ‘Although both mutants were isolated, each is morphologically distinct, suggesting adventitious genetic alterations.’
      • ‘Flight-feather molt categories were symmetric, adventitious, and juvenal.’
      • ‘It has previously been shown that adventitious organogenesis and embryogenesis could occur in parallel from in vitro-cultured tissues of Helianthus.’
      • ‘In adventitious embryony, the embryo develops directly from nucellar or chalazal tissue without an intervening gametophyte stage.’
    3. 1.3Botany (of a root, shoot, etc.) produced in an unusual part of a plant.
      • ‘If adventitious rooting could be introduced into a crop like cotton, it could lead to new production efficiencies.’
      • ‘The young parasite then develops a tubercle, with adventitious roots and a shoot.’
      • ‘After removal, such stem segments could produce adventitious roots under moist soil conditions, and produce new plants.’
      • ‘The total number of primary adventitious roots per plant was closely correlated with corm dry weight.’
      • ‘Plants were washed carefully out of soil and the individual adventitious roots originating from the stem base were removed for testing.’
      • ‘Oxygen transport from shoot through adventitious roots has been visualized directly.’


Early 17th century: from Latin adventicius coming to us from abroad (from advenire arrive) + -ous (see also -itious).