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Definition & Meaning: Extra Word Root

The word “extra” is derived from Latin, meaning “outside” or “beyond.” This versatile root forms the basis of numerous English words that convey the sense of being outside the usual, additional, or beyond what is ordinary. Examples include “extraordinary,” “extravagant,” and “extraterrestrial.”For instance, “extraordinary” comes from the Latin phrase extra ordinem, meaning “outside the normal course of events,” while “extramural” (outside the walls) and “extravagant” (wandering outside normal boundaries) showcase the breadth of this root’s application. In technical terms, “extrapolate” and “extraterrestrial” also stem from this root, indicating processes or entities that extend beyond usual limits.Additionally, the concept of extrasensory perception (ESP) illustrates how “extra” conveys the idea of extending beyond normal sensory experiences, often linked with hypothetical or fictional beings from outer space, or extraterrestrial life.

Diagram illustrating the word root "extra" with examples: extraordinary, extraterrestrial, and extracurricular.

Words Based on the Extra Word Root

Commonly Used Words Based on this Word Root

  • Extra: Outside what is considered a normal amount of something.
  • Extraordinary: Outside the ordinary.
  • Extra Credit: Outside credit.
  • Extracurricular: Outside the general curriculum of a school.
  • Extrasensory: Of being outside the five senses.
  • Extraterrestrial: Of being outside the planet Earth.
  • Extravagant: Wandering outside normal boundaries, usually of cost.
  • Extrovert: Turned outside of oneself.
  • Extraneous: Of information that is not necessary to something, hence outside of what is needed.

Archaic Words Based on this Word Root

  • Extramusical: Apart from and in addition to music.
  • Extramuscular: Not located in muscles.

Technical Words/Jargon Based on this Word Root

  • Extraconal: Outside a cone.
  • Extracortical: Outside a cortex.
  • Extranormal: Outside or beyond what is normal.

Related Word Roots

1. Ultra- (beyond)

  • Ultraviolet: Beyond the violet end of the spectrum.
  • Ultrasonic: Sound waves beyond the range of human hearing.

2. Super- (above, over)

  • Supernatural: Above or beyond what is natural.
  • Supersonic: Greater than the speed of sound.

3. Meta- (beyond, after)

  • Metaphysical: Beyond the physical.
  • Metamorphosis: Change of form beyond the current state.

Understanding the root “extra” and its related word roots enhances our vocabulary by linking complex words to familiar concepts. This knowledge makes it easier to grasp and remember new words, enriching our language and comprehension.

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Explore Our Full Word Roots Section

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