plen·​i·​tude | \ ˈple-nə-ˌtüd How to pronounce plenitude (audio) , -ˌtyüd \

Definition of plenitude

1 : the quality or state of being full : completeness
2 : a great sufficiency : abundance

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Plenitude was first recorded in English during the 15th century and ultimately comes to us from "plenus," the Latin word for "full." "Plenus" has also given us "plenty," which in turn influenced a variation on "plenitude": "plentitude." Some usage commentators have objected to "plentitude," but it has been in use since the early 1600s and has appeared in the works of such writers as Henry James and Sir Walter Scott. Both words are used in the same sorts of contexts, but "plentitude" is not used as frequently as "plenitude."

Examples of plenitude in a Sentence

She has gathered a plenitude of information on the topic. there's a plenitude of natural beauty in the state
Recent Examples on the Web And that’s not even taking into consideration the plenitude of Thailand, a country of 70 million people who can enjoy multiple types of eggplant and innumerable varieties of shrimp paste. New York Times, "Conjuring Up the World Through the Sense of Taste," 2 Jan. 2021 Thus with a trans-temporal jump do the pathologies of one time destroy the plenitude of another. Jack Butler, National Review, "Back to the Future Meets Hillbilly Elegy," 5 Dec. 2020 If not, a bargain can be struck between giver and gifted, allowing anxieties about unearned plenitude to be assuaged. Matthew Sweet, The Economist, "The secret economics of Christmas adverts, unwrapped," 4 Dec. 2020 The clients often have a plenitude of bedrooms or bunks and boast of their large families. Kyle Chayka, The New Yorker, "“Emily in Paris” and the Rise of Ambient TV," 16 Nov. 2020 Nguyen plans to continue contributing to that plenitude. Dorany Pineda, Los Angeles Times, "Viet Thanh Nguyen on his ‘Sympathizer’ sequel and the ‘scarcity’ of voices like his," 2 Nov. 2020 Mid-pandemic, heads are rolling—scrolling—at unprecedented rates through the virtual plenitude, a kind of pre-death bardo state of perfect mind-body disconnection. Jason Kehe, Wired, "Television Like The Boys Is Destroying You," 16 Oct. 2020 But, as social distancing continued into the summer and infection rates in New York declined, city dwellers became desperate for a break from urban quarantine and newly interested in the spatial plenitude to be found in rural areas. Kyle Chayka, The New Yorker, "The Pandemic Sparks a Real-Estate Gold Rush in Upstate New York," 9 Oct. 2020 At times this plenitude threatens to make Wagnerism read like an encyclopedia. Adam Kirsch, The New Republic, "The Problem With Redemption for Wagner," 11 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'plenitude.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of plenitude

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for plenitude

Middle English plenitude, from Anglo-French or Latin; Anglo-French, from Latin plenitudo, from plenus

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The first known use of plenitude was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Plenitude.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of plenitude

: a large number or amount of something
: the state of being full or complete

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