plethora

noun
pleth·o·ra | \ˈple-thə-rə \

Definition of plethora 

1 : a bodily condition characterized by an excess of blood and marked by turgescence and a florid complexion

2 : abundance, profusion … Grand Cayman offers a plethora of bustling restaurants, ritzy resorts and comfortable condos …— Susanne Cummings … in a world whose credibility is threatened by the meaningless plethora of material goods it goes on producing.— W. Roy Niblett

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Other Words from plethora

plethoric \plə-ˈthȯr-ik, ple-, -ˈthär-; ˈple-thə-rik \ adjective

Did You Know?

Plethora comes from a similar Greek word meaning "fullness." It was first used in English in the 16th century to describe a supposed medical condition marked by an excess volume of blood causing swelling and a reddish complexion. Later, the medical use of "plethora" was extended to indicate related medical conditions (such as an excess volume of bodily fluid or the red-skinned appearance of some newborns). These days, however, "plethora" is more often used in a general, non-medical sense, with the meaning "excess" or "abundance."

Examples of plethora in a Sentence

There has been a plethora of plays in recent years whose claim to modernity is based on indicated rather than felt emotion. — Arthur Miller, Harper's, March 1999 The plethora of short-lived ceasefires in the Balkans and the Caucasus constitute proof that we are no longer in a world where the old rules of state warfare apply. — Robert D. Kaplan, Atlantic, February 1994 … served at the long plank table in the banquet hut, amid a plethora of toasts to progress, amity, and the overthrow of imperialism—the meal passed in a blur. — John Updike, Trust Me, (1962) 1987 In their view, there are the very few hard-pressed good guys losing the landscape to a plethora of bad guys. — Carol Bly, Letters from the Country, 1981 A plethora of books have been written on the subject. a biology textbook that is helpfully illustrated with a plethora of excellent illustrations
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Recent Examples on the Web

The result is a plethora of curious and clever machines that are beginning to traipse and hop all over the place. Matt Simon, WIRED, "How Roboticists Are Copying Nature to Make Fantastical Machines," 28 June 2018 This season, more so than usual, there happens to be a plethora of options and decades to cull inspiration from. Alice Bell, Vogue, "The 6 Simple Statement Dresses You Need This Summer," 27 June 2018 When the weather heats up and school gets out, there is a neverending plethora of things to do and check out around this state. Brian Manzullo, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan's summer gems: 22 activities you must try," 27 June 2018 There are a plethora of fight scenes where Cage is being shot, over and over, to no real effect, other than being repetitive. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "What went right and what went wrong for Luke Cage’s second season," 22 June 2018 July at the Alaska Botanical Garden offers a plethora of colorful flowers, from Himalayan blue poppies to any of the 50 varieties of peony cultivated at the Anchorage garden. Anchorage Daily News, "July is a great time to visit the Alaska Botanical Garden," 11 July 2018 So like every other technology, this emerging AI chip industry likely won’t sustain its current plethora of competitors. Andy Patrizio, Ars Technica, "The AI revolution has spawned a new chips arms race," 9 July 2018 From the outset of the group stages, this year’s edition of the World Cup has proved to be one capable of providing more shocks, upsets, high scoring matches and a plethora of major incidents than any tournament before it. SI.com, "Quality vs Fire: Why Uruguay's Clash With France Could Indicate How the World Cup Will Be Won," 4 July 2018 Marking the way are century-old trees, Craftsman-style cottages juxtaposed with modern structures and a plethora of murals, ranging from graffiti art to historical figure tributes. Natasha Bourlin, SFChronicle.com, "Increasingly hip Midtown Reno has a glow that’s not from neon," 29 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'plethora.' 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 plethora

1541, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for plethora

Medieval Latin, from Greek plēthōra, literally, fullness, from plēthein to be full — more at full

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Statistics for plethora

Last Updated

15 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for plethora

The first known use of plethora was in 1541

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More Definitions for plethora

plethora

noun

English Language Learners Definition of plethora

: a very large amount or number : an amount that is much greater than what is necessary

plethora

noun
pleth·o·ra | \ˈpleth-ə-rə \

Medical Definition of plethora 

: a bodily condition characterized by an excess of blood and marked by turgescence and a reddish complexion

Other Words from plethora

plethoric \plə-ˈthȯr-ik, ple-, -ˈthär-; ˈpleth-ə-rik \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on plethora

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for plethora

Spanish Central: Translation of plethora

Nglish: Translation of plethora for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of plethora for Arabic Speakers

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