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

And one of the main reasons for the plethora of crying GIFs on social media is the the unexpected fate of everyone's favorite resident adoptive father—Detective Jim Hopper. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "What Happens to Hopper at the End of Stranger Things Season 3?," 5 July 2019 But the staff and a new council will have to figure out how to tackle the plethora of materials that businesses discard — and determine how heavily the city should regulate recycling. Hayat Norimine, Dallas News, "Dallas could mandate recycling for businesses to cut down on waste," 1 July 2019 Iraq’s airports also replicate the plethora of checkpoints that punctuate its roads. The Economist, "How airports explain the Arab world," 29 June 2019 Dear Readers: During the slower pace of summer, check out the plethora of continuing education opportunities. Heloise, Washington Post, "Hints From Heloise: Fido goes to work?," 18 June 2019 Culture, food, beer and art highlight the plethora of summer fun available this month. Chris Sims, Indianapolis Star, "Here are 20 June festivals to fill your summer," 12 June 2019 That may sound off-putting, but this plethora of bacteria, known as your natural flora, is totally normal and helps fight off outside, potentially harmful bacteria. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "How Gross Is It Really to Re-Wear Sweaty Workout Clothes?," 5 June 2019 In her 2017 interview with ELLE, Clarke addressed the plethora of rumors that she's hooked up with Harington in real life too. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kit Harington and Emilia Clarke's Friendship Is Founded on Dirty Jokes and Awkward Kissing," 21 Mar. 2019 Despite the plethora of services and devices dedicated to satisfying your binge-watching need, veteran company TiVo hasn't been completely pushed out yet. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "TiVo Bolt OTA review: For would-be cord-cutters with great antenna reception," 4 Oct. 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

9 Jul 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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