Desideratum means "something that is desired", and quite often is used in philosophy to refer to the subject of a philosophical investigation. (Wiktionary, Merriam-Webster)

I want another word, preferably Latin, that means "something not [specifically] wished for." For instance, a theory is answering some questions (which can be interesting in and of itself) while the questions have not been asked in the first place. Not that the answer is toxic/hated, but it simply doesn't interest the listener.

The only things I've already found (like here) suggests opposites with very negative meaning, like anathema or abhorrent.

Thanks in advance.

1 Answer 1


If you find something not wished for (desideratum), then surely it is irrelevant?

The word for this, then, is alienus, whuch used substantively becomes alienum. Otherwise, a phrase such as nihil ad rem, roughly 'not to the point' should serve.

  • The latter seems a better fit (as the case I'm trying to convey is like someone having an answer, walking in the streets looking for a question for it.) Thanks!
    – psyguy
    Aug 11, 2019 at 16:11

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.