otiose

adjective
oti·​ose | \ ˈō-shē-ˌōs How to pronounce otiose (audio) , ˈō-tē- \

Definition of otiose

1 : producing no useful result : futile
2 : being at leisure : idle
3 : lacking use or effect : functionless

Other Words from otiose

otiosely adverb
otioseness noun
otiosity \ ˌō-​shē-​ˈä-​sə-​tē How to pronounce otiose (audio) , ˌō-​tē-​ \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for otiose

vain, nugatory, otiose, idle, empty, hollow mean being without worth or significance. vain implies either absolute or relative absence of value. vain promises nugatory suggests triviality or insignificance. a monarch with nugatory powers otiose suggests that something serves no purpose and is either an encumbrance or a superfluity. a film without a single otiose scene idle suggests being incapable of worthwhile use or effect. idle speculations empty and hollow suggest a deceiving lack of real substance or soundness or genuineness. an empty attempt at reconciliation a hollow victory

Did you know?

Otiose was first used in English in the late-18th century to describe things producing no useful result. By mid-19th century, it was being used in keeping with its Latin source otiosus, meaning "at leisure." There is also the noun form otiosity, which predates otiose by approximately three centuries. That noun is rarely found in writing today, but it makes an appearance on the occasional spelling bee word list.

Examples of otiose in a Sentence

since you haven't read the book, I suppose that it would be otiose to inquire what you thought of it

First Known Use of otiose

1795, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for otiose

Latin otiosus, from otium leisure

Learn More About otiose

Listen to Our Podcast About otiose

Dictionary Entries Near otiose

Otiorhynchidae

otiose

Otis

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for otiose

Cite this Entry

“Otiose.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/otiose. Accessed 24 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on otiose

Britannica English: Translation of otiose for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Food

  • a-light
  • Name these cookies!
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!