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 world's first black supermodel, Pat Cleveland, was joined on the runway by a plethora of legendary models including Beverly Peele, Beverly Johnson, Veronica Webb, Debra Shaw, and Chrystèle Saint Louis Augustin. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Tommy x Zendaya Hits Paris Fashion Week and It's Bringing Back the Days of Disco," 2 Mar. 2019 The second royal wedding of 2018 is taking place, and a plethora of famous faces and members of the royal family are in attendance at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Who Is Princess Eugenie? The Queen's Granddaughter Is Ninth in Line to the Throne," 12 Oct. 2018 With the plethora of changes surrounding the return, executive producer Matt Berry was eager to reassure viewers that the series will maintain its original characteristics in this new era. Emma Dibdin, Country Living, "Here’s Your First Look at the 'Last Man Standing' Reboot's New Boyd Baxter," 9 Aug. 2018 Which is why Nordstrom’s plethora of seasonal sales are always a shoe-in. refinery29.com, "How To Shop Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale Before Everyone Else," 13 July 2018 In addition to the saplings, a plethora of information was available about recycling, composting and other topics to help protect the environment. Carol Kovach, cleveland.com, "Chilly, soggy weather didn't stop Keep Lakewood Beautiful volunteers from sprucing up the city," 29 Apr. 2018 The day's schedule is set to be busy, featuring a plethora of talks, discussions, and workshops. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Middleton Wore the Smartest Tweed Suit to the Mental Health in Education Conference," 13 Feb. 2019 This is especially true in San Antonio, where there’s a plethora of older housing stock just begging to be pillaged — or restored to its former glory. Richard A. Marini, San Antonio Express-News, "S.A.’s doors, windows, hardware from old homes finding new lives," 4 May 2018 Thanks to the sheer number of fashion weeks and the plethora of seasons, to say nothing of trends, fashion can seem mercurial. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "Vogue Runway Did a Ten-Year Fashion Challenge: Check Out the Results Here," 30 Jan. 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

19 Mar 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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