plethora

play
noun pleth·o·ra \ˈple-thə-rə\

Definition of plethora

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

  2. 2 :  excess, superfluity; also :  profusion, abundance

plethoric

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

plethora was our Word of the Day on 06/22/2009. Hear the podcast!

Examples of plethora in a Sentence

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. … 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

  5. A plethora of books have been written on the subject.

  6. a biology textbook that is helpfully illustrated with a plethora of excellent illustrations

Recent Examples of plethora from the Web

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.

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."

Origin and Etymology of plethora

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


PLETHORA Defined for English Language Learners

plethora

play
noun

Definition of plethora for English Language Learners

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


Medical Dictionary

plethora

play
noun pleth·o·ra \ˈpleth-ə-rə\

Medical Definition of plethora

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

plethoric

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


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