Share this entry

Share this page

superfluous

Syllabification: su·per·flu·ous
Pronunciation: /so͞oˈpərflo͞oəs
 
/

Definition of superfluous in English:

adjective

Unnecessary, especially through being more than enough: the purchaser should avoid asking for superfluous information
More example sentences
  • Unnecessary, superfluous comments waste time and try the patience of participants.
  • The use of weapons which cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering is similarly prohibited.
  • Z was always thought to be a superfluous, unnecessary letter.
Synonyms
surplus (to requirements), nonessential, redundant, unneeded, excess, extra, (to) spare, remaining, unused, left over, in excess, waste
unnecessary, unneeded, redundant, uncalled for, unwarranted

Origin

late Middle English: from Latin superfluus, from super- 'over' + fluere 'to flow'.

More
  • affluent from (Late Middle English):

    From Latin affluere ‘flow towards’, affluent was originally used to describe water either flowing towards a place or flowing freely without any restriction. It later came to mean ‘abundant’ and then ‘wealthy’, a meaning which dates from the mid 18th century. Related words, all based on Latin fluere ‘to flow’ are fluent (late 16th century) and fluid (Late Middle English); flume (Middle English) originally a stream; flux (Late Middle English) a state of flowing; effluent (Late Middle English) something that flows out; and superfluous (Late Middle English) ‘overflowing’.

Derivatives

superfluously

1
adverb
Example sentences
  • She scrupulously avoids over-enthusiasm, or superfluously imaginative ‘reconstructions’, and in sticking firmly and respectfully to what is known, leaves scrutiny of Johnson's character to the reader's discretion.
  • Then, superfluously, he adds: ‘But I never go to parties.’
  • ‘I've always been rather dramatic,’ she says, a touch superfluously.

superfluousness

2
noun
Example sentences
  • This was not an ordinary injustice. It was an extraordinary injustice. The premise of terrorism is the sheer superfluousness of human life. This premise is inconsistent with civilized living anywhere.
  • Speaking of which, it also contains moments of brilliant superfluousness: ‘It was very dark inside the fish,’ the second paragraph enigmatically begins.
  • In England, alongside the ethos of the middle class, an aristocratic attitude was very much alive, disdaining usefulness and regarding superfluousness as the mark of the lady and gentleman.

Words that rhyme with superfluous

congruousvacuous

Definition of superfluous in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day emulous
Pronunciation: ˈɛmjʊləs
adjective
seeking to emulate someone or something