Quick Summary

Prefixes are key morphemes in English vocabulary that begin words. The English prefix extra-, which means “outside,” appears in a fair number of English vocabulary words, such as extra, extraterrestrial, and extraordinary. You can remember that the prefix extra- means “outside” from the adjective extraordinary, which refers to something which is “outside” or beyond what is usually considered ordinary.

Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

Today we will focus on the English prefix extra-, which means “outside.” This podcast will make your knowledge of words with the prefix extra- in them extraordinary!

We all know that if you work extra hard at something, that is, work “outside” of what is expected, you are more likely to succeed in that particular endeavor. For instance, if you study so hard for a math test that you get all of the questions correct, your teacher would probably say that it was an extraordinary accomplishment, or one that is beyond or “outside” what more ordinary scores would be. You most certainly would not need extra credit, or points given “outside” or beyond that of the possible points on the test itself. Speaking of school, many students these days seem to have numerous extracurricular activities in their lives, or those activities that go “outside” of the normal curriculum or classes they take during the day, such as soccer, violin lessons, participation in a play, or various clubs.

We’ve all heard of ESP, or Extrasensory Perception, which is a “sixth sense” of sorts that goes beyond or “outside” of our normal five senses to give us information that we normally would not have access to, such as what is going to happen in the future or the ability to know what another person is thinking. Perhaps such ESP is commonplace among aliens or extraterrestrial life, or life that thrives “outside” of or beyond planet Earth.

We have all heard of introverts and extroverts. An introvert tends to be more private in his daily life, whereas an extrovert prefers to be turned towards the “outside” world, and so loves to socialize.

Have you ever bought a car that was extravagant in its cost, that is, one that wandered “outside” of the expected normal price range for cars? A sports car such as a Lamborghini or Ferrari would be an example of such an extravagant expense, for no one really needs a car like that for running errands!

I think that an extra or yet another example “outside” of the ones given above would be overkill at this point—no need for extraneous examples that are really not needed—like extraneous!

  1. extra: “outside” what is considered to be a normal amount of something
  2. extraordinary: “outside” the ordinary
  3. extra credit: “outside” credit
  4. extracurricular: “outside” the general curriculum of a school
  5. extrasensory: of being “outside” the five senses
  6. extraterrestrial: of being “outside” the planet Earth
  7. extravagant: wandering “outside” normal boundaries, usually of cost
  8. extrovert: turned “outside” of oneself
  9. extravert: variant spelling of “extrovert”
  10. extraneous: of information that is not necessary to something, hence “outside” of what is needed


  • extradite

    When one nation extradites someone, it hands them over into the custody of a second nation, usually to stand trial for crimes committed against that second nation.

  • extraneous

    Something that is extraneous is not relevant or connected to something else, or it is not essential to a given situation.

  • extravaganza

    An extravaganza is an elaborate production or spectacular display that is meant to entertain, often in an excessive fashion.

  • external

    If something is external, it is on the outside or outer part of something.

  • extracurricular

    outside the regular academic curriculum

  • extramarital

    characterized by adultery

  • extramural

    carried on outside the bounds of an institution or community

  • extraordinaire

    extraordinary in a particular capacity

  • extraordinary

    beyond what is ordinary or usual

  • extrasensory

    seemingly outside normal sensory channels

  • extraterrestrial

    originating or located or occurring outside Earth or its atmosphere

  • extravagant

    unrestrained, especially with regard to feelings

  • extravert

    being concerned with the social and physical environment

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