Share this entry

Share this page

pleonasm

Line breaks: ple¦on|asm
Pronunciation: /ˈpliːə(ʊ)ˌnaz(ə)m
 
/

Definition of pleonasm in English:

noun

[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.

Origin

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

Derivatives

pleonastic

1
Pronunciation: /-ˈnastɪk/
adjective
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.

pleonastically

2
Pronunciation: /-ˈnastɪk(ə)li/
adverb
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.

Words that rhyme with pleonasm

cataplasmphantasm

Definition of pleonasm 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 ads and access premium resources

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