pleonasm was our Word of the Day on 02/23/2009. Hear the podcast!
Did You Know?
Pleonasm, which stems via Late Latin from the Greek verb pleonazein ("to be excessive"), is a fancy word for "redundancy." It's related to our words "plus" and "plenty," and ultimately it goes back to the Greek word for "more," which is "pleōn." Pleonasm is commonly considered a fault of style, but it can also serve a useful function. "Extra" words can sometimes be helpful to a speaker or writer in getting a message across, adding emphasis, or simply adding an appealing sound and rhythm to a phrase - as, for example, with the pleonasm "I saw it with my own eyes!"
Origin and Etymology of pleonasm
Late Latin pleonasmus, from Greek pleonasmos, from pleonazein to be excessive, from pleiōn, pleōn more — more at plus
First Known Use: 1610
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