What is the Difference Between Adventitious and Inadvertent

The main difference between adventitious and inadvertent is that adventitious can describe something unintentional, foreign, or something that arises from an unusual position. Meanwhile, inadvertent only describes something unintentional.

Adventitious and inadvertent are two adjectives that can sometimes be used interchangeably. It is because they can both describe something that is accidental or unplanned. You can use these two adjectives interchangeably when you want to convey this meaning. However, the adjective adventitious has some additional meanings as well. It is also a specific term used in botany and zoology. Therefore, you should know the exact difference between adventitious and inadvertent before using these two adjectives interchangeably.

Key Areas Covered

1. What Does Adventitious Mean
      – Definition, Usage, Examples
2. What Does Inadvertent Mean
      – Definition, Usage, Examples
3. What are the Similarities Between Adventitious and Inadvertent
     – Outline of Common Features
4. What is the Difference Between Adventitious and Inadvertent
     – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms

Inadvertent, AdventitiousDifference Between Adventitious and Inadvertent - Comparison Summary

Adventitious – Definition, Usage, Examples

Adventitious is an adjective we use to describe something that is accidental or unplanned. It also refers to something that is not inherent or innate, i.e., something foreign. In botany and zoology, adventitious is a term that describes something appearing in an abnormal or unusual position or place; for example, adventitious roots or adventitious movement. Moreover, the adjective adventitious originates from Latin adventicius, which has the meaning ‘coming from outside.’

Let’s now look at some example sentences to understand the meaning and usage of this adjective more clearly.

This is an adventitious consequence of their decision.

Here, adventitious means unplanned

The advanced scanner detected adventitious materials in her body. 

Here, adventitious refers to something foreign (something that is not part of the body).

Difference Between Adventitious and Inadvertent

Figure 1: Adventitious Root

An adventitious growth can be noticed in the damaged area of the plant.

Here, adventurous refers to growth in an unusual position.

The adventitious skyscraper stood out amongst the city’s colonial buildings.

Here, adventitious refers to something that is not inherent, i.e., foreign 

All her adventures are adventitious, suddenly thrust on her.

Here, adventitious means unplanned or unintentional

Inadvertent – Definition, Usage, Examples

Inadvertent is an adjective that describes something not resulting from or achieved through deliberate planning. Thus, like adventitious, it also means unintentional or unplanned. However, it does not have the other meanings of adventitious.

The adverb form of inadvertent is inadvertently. Let’s look at some examples to understand the meaning and usage of this adjective and its adverb.

Jake’s inadvertent encounter with his lover’s husband resulted in his death.

I inadvertently caused them many problems.

This error was caused by an inadvertent omission of some data in the report.

He uncovered inadvertent contamination of some food products.

Inadvertent ingestion of the chemical resulted in serious harm.

Main Difference - Adventitious vs Inadvertent

Figure 2: Inadvertent Greeking in a Newspaper

Furthermore, as mentioned in the introduction itself, when we are referring to something unplanned or unintentional, we can use the two adjectives adventitious and inadvertent as synonyms. However, in some contexts, we cannot use them as synonyms; for example, we usually do not refer to an adventitious growth or an adventitious shoot as an inadvertent growth or inadvertent shoot.

Similarities Between Adventitious and Inadvertent

  • Adventitious and inadvertent are adjectives.
  • Moreover, both these can convey the meaning: accidental or unintentional.
  • In this context, they are synonyms and can be used interchangeably.

Difference Between Adventitious and Inadvertent

Definition

Adventitious is an adjective that has the meanings: unintentional, foreign, not inherent or something arising or occurring from an unusual position. In contrast, inadvertent is an adjective that describes something unplanned or unintentional.

Meanings

The adjective adventitious can be used to describe something foreign or something arising from an unusual position, whereas the adjective inadvertent cannot be used in this sense.

Usage

Adventitious is a specific term in botany and zoology whereas inadvertent is an adjective used in general usage.

Conclusion

Adventitious and inadvertent are two adjectives that can sometimes be used interchangeably since they can describe something that is accidental or unplanned. However, this is not possible in every context, as the adjective adventitious has some additional meanings. Therefore, you should know the exact difference between adventitious and inadvertent before using these two adjectives interchangeably.

Image Courtesy:

1. “Adventitious roots of Magnolia cutting” – The original uploader: Gmihail at Serbian Wikipedia. – Transferred from sr.wikipedia to Commons by Micki using CommonsHelper (CC BY-SA 3.0 rs) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Inadvertent greeking in The Straits Times, Singapore – 20130719” By Jacklee – Own work (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

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