ad·ven·ti·tious (ăd′vĕn-tĭshəs, -vən-)
1. Arising from an external cause or factor; not inherent: symmetry that was purely adventitious; adventitious circumstances that contributed to the plan's success.
a. Of or belonging to a structure that develops in an unusual place: adventitious roots.
b. Originating from an external source, especially as a contaminant: adventitious viruses in a cell culture.
c. Not congenital: adventitious deafness.
[From Latin adventīcius, foreign, from adventus, arrival; see ADVENT.]
(click for a larger image)adventitious
adventitious roots of a corn plant
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus