Dictionary

superfluous

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

: beyond what is needed : not necessary

Full Definition of SUPERFLUOUS

1
a :  exceeding what is sufficient or necessary :  extra
b :  not needed :  unnecessary
2
obsolete :  marked by wastefulness :  extravagant
su·per·flu·ous·ly adverb
su·per·flu·ous·ness noun

Examples of SUPERFLUOUS

  1. <cleared off all the superfluous stuff on his desk to make room for the new computer>
  2. 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

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
SUPERFLUOUSNESS Defined for Kids

superfluous

adjective su·per·flu·ous \s-ˈpər-flə-wəs\

Definition of SUPERFLUOUS for Kids

:  going beyond what is enough or necessary :  extra <Her story was filled with superfluous details.>

Word Root of SUPERFLUOUS

The Latin word fluere, meaning to flow, gives us the root flu. Words from the Latin fluere have something to do with flowing. A fluid is a substance that flows and is usually a liquid. When someone is fluent in a language the words flow out of her or him. Anything superfluous, or extra, has flowed forth beyond what is necessary.

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