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superfluous

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adjective su·per·flu·ous \su̇-ˈpər-flü-əs\

Simple Definition of superfluous

  • : beyond what is needed : not necessary

Full Definition of superfluous

  1. 1a :  exceeding what is sufficient or necessary :  extrab :  not needed :  unnecessary

  2. 2 obsolete :  marked by wastefulness :  extravagant

su·per·flu·ous·ly adverb
su·per·flu·ous·ness noun

Examples of superfluous

  1. In the Imagist model, the writer is a sculptor. Technique consists of chipping away everything superfluous in order to reveal the essential form within. “It took you ninety-seven words to do it,” Pound is reported to have remarked to a young literary aspirant who had handed him a new poem. “I find it could have been managed in fifty-six.” —Louis Menand, New Yorker, 9 & 16 June 2008

  2. Oddly, despite the preponderance of superfluous words, the book has no glossary, which is a must for an introductory audience. —Dorothy Merritts, Eos, 3 Oct. 2000

  3. Twenty years ago, baby boomers were written about as if every one of them had as a life goal making enough money to accumulate the same superfluous material objects that everyone else had. —Calvin Trillin, Time, 6 Sept. 1999

  4. <cleared off all the superfluous stuff on his desk to make room for the new computer>



Origin of superfluous

Middle English, from Latin superfluus, literally, running over, from superfluere to overflow, from super- + fluere to flow — more at fluid


First Known Use: 15th century



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