plethora

noun
pleth·​o·​ra | \ ˈple-thə-rə How to pronounce plethora (audio) \

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 How to pronounce plethoric (audio) , 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 requests underscore the scope of the committee's investigation into Big Tech, and reveal a plethora of practices the lawmakers may consider to be anticompetitive. Brian Fung, CNN, "House antitrust probe of Big Tech seeks documents from Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google," 13 Sep. 2019 And along with new smartphones come a plethora of accessories from Apple, with Incipio, Otterbox and Anker joining the accessory fun. Brittany Vincent, CNN Underscored, "From protection to power, here are iPhone 11 accessories you can order right now," 13 Sep. 2019 Sauerkraut, bourbon molasses and a plethora of other ingredients lend a hand in the construction of Red Top’s 10 entrees that populate a menu divided into two categories, hot dogs and sausages. Lindsey Mcclave, The Courier-Journal, "This Shelby Park restaurant is home to Louisville's best hot dog," 11 Sep. 2019 Ultimately, depending on a plethora of arms over starters isn’t something Cora necessarily thinks is going to be the future of the game. Julian Mcwilliams, BostonGlobe.com, "Red Sox pitching puts it together, shuts down powerful Yankees," 6 Sep. 2019 All this tinkering with dog DNA has led to a plethora of diverse pooches, from the hulking Great Dane to the tiny chihuahua. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Dog Breeding Has Changed Pooches’ Brains," 4 Sep. 2019 Perhaps sensing that this lack of alarm was having the opposite effect on everyone else, the government has unveiled a plethora of measures intended to revive the economy. The Economist, "India’s government is scrambling to revive the economy," 31 Aug. 2019 The transaction marks a major expansion of Hasbro's media efforts as well as another example of the race to pick up smaller content owners and producers as a plethora of video-streaming companies come onto the scene. Bloomberg Wire, Dallas News, "Hasbro to buy Peppa Pig's owner for $4 billion," 22 Aug. 2019 The White Man’s Burden,’ and a plethora of other work that sought to legitimate the British empir[e] … and dehumanise people of colour. Maya Jasanoff, The New Republic, "Rudyard Kipling, American Imperialist," 22 Aug. 2019

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

17 Sep 2019

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

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

plethora

noun
pleth·​o·​ra | \ ˈpleth-ə-rə How to pronounce plethora (audio) \

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 How to pronounce plethoric (audio) , ple-​ How to pronounce plethoric (audio) , -​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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