Definition of pleonasm in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpliːə(ʊ)ˌnaz(ə)m/


[mass noun]
The use of more words than are necessary to convey meaning (e.g. see with one’s eyes), either as a fault of style or for emphasis.
Example sentences
  • The phrase appears to make use of a deliberate rhetorical device known as pleonasm, a crafted redundancy that plays out the search for the most fitting expression.
  • Apollonius takes no thought for style, and his work is marked by frequent pleonasm, anacoluthon, etc.
  • For all her pleonasm, for all her longwinded babbling, for all her pathetic redundancy, there is still so much that she will never, ever articulate.



Pronunciation: /ˌpliːə(ʊ)ˈnastɪk/
Example sentences
  • Such usages are sometimes described as barbarous and pleonastic, but such criticism does not affect their widespread use.
  • However, he also sets out to show that such ontologies are not merely pleonastic, but also that an alternative account can be given free of all the difficulties mentioned.
  • Rather, through his pleonastic use of quietness, Mahler seems here to score a parody of sentimentality.


Pronunciation: /ˌpliːə(ʊ)ˈnastɪk(ə)li/
Example sentences
  • People who love musicals and enjoy seeing them affectionately kidded, as well as many others, got quite a kick out of the rather pleonastically titled The Musical of Musicals: The Musical!
  • It is, too, often used pleonastically with pronouns, as are, in fact, most Demonstrative Pronouns.
  • He writes, albeit pleonastically, that the "maintenance of the upward revaluation of homes may be the next frontier of risk socialization.


Mid 16th century: via late Latin from Greek pleonasmos, from pleonazein 'be superfluous'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: ple¦on|asm

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