Etymology
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intrinsic (adj.)

late 15c., "interior, inward, internal," from Old French intrinsèque "inner" (14c.), from Medieval Latin intrinsecus "interior, internal," from Latin intrinsecus (adv.) "inwardly, on the inside," from intra "within" (see intra-) + secus "along, alongside," from PIE *sekw-os- "following," suffixed form of root *sekw- (1) "to follow."

The form in English was conformed to words in -ic by 18c. Meaning "belonging to the nature of a thing" is from 1640s. Related: Intrinsical; intrinsically.

updated on December 08, 2020

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Definitions of intrinsic from WordNet

intrinsic (adj.)
belonging to a thing by its very nature; "form was treated as something intrinsic, as the very essence of the thing"- John Dewey;
Synonyms: intrinsical
intrinsic (adj.)
situated within or belonging solely to the organ or body part on which it acts;
intrinsic muscles
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.