re·​dun·​dan·​cy | \ ri-ˈdən-dən(t)-sē How to pronounce redundancy (audio) \
plural redundancies

Definition of redundancy

1a : the quality or state of being redundant : superfluity
b : the use of redundant components also : such components
c chiefly British : dismissal from a job especially by layoff
3a : superfluous repetition : prolixity
b : an act or instance of needless repetition
4 : the part of a message that can be eliminated without loss of essential information

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Did You Know?

Redundancy, closely related to redound, has stayed close to the original meaning of "overflow" or "more than necessary". Avoiding redundancy is one of the prime rules of good writing. ""In the modern world of today" contains a redundancy; so does "He died of fatal wounds" and "For the mutual benefit of both parties". But redundancy doesn't just occur in language. "Data redundancy" means keeping the same computer data in more than one place as a safety measure, and a backup system in an airplane may provide redundancy, again for the sake of safety.

Examples of redundancy in a Sentence

Avoid redundancy in your writing. Try to avoid using redundancies in your writing. The design incorporates several redundancies. a system with a high level of redundancy The restructuring is expected to result in the redundancy of several hundred workers. The workers are now facing redundancy.
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Recent Examples on the Web In August the bank announced a plan to complete 4,700 redundancies by the end of this year. The Economist, "As profits dwindle, HSBC plans a radical overhaul," 2 Nov. 2019 From that experiment, Cadillac has built lots of redundancy into the CT5's controls. Joey Capparella, Car and Driver, "The New CT5 Is a Step Backwards for Cadillac," 30 Jan. 2020 In some cases, one government agency doesn’t know what the other is doing, sometimes creating redundancies, other times leaving large swaths unserved. The Denver Post, "Post Premium: Our best stories for the week of Dec. 23 – 29," 29 Dec. 2019 Like any flight control system, the redundancy and testing must be robust for a trim system, manual or automatic. John Cox, USA TODAY, "Ask the Captain: Choosing between Airbus and Boeing 'like picking a favorite child'," 6 Dec. 2019 Installing Steve Clifford as Orlando’s coach gave the offense—and Gordon—a more sensible rhythm, but only so much can be done with all the Magic’s frontcourt redundancies. Rob Mahoney,, "Top 100 NBA Players of 2020," 12 Sep. 2019 According to The Wall Street Journal, the issue stems from a lack of redundancy. Aarian Marshall, WIRED, "What Boeing’s 737 MAX Has to Do With Cars: Software," 30 June 2019 In a voluntary redundancy program revealed last quarter, Jaguar took a charge of around $200 million. Washington Post, "Jaguar Land Rover Just Dangled Some Shiny Keys," 21 May 2019 Although dog tags had been implemented during WWI, a personalized engraving could serve as a redundancy system for identification. Cole Pennington,, "How World War I Changed Watches Forever," 24 Sep. 2019

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

1601, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for redundancy

Time Traveler

The first known use of redundancy was in 1601

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Statistics for redundancy

Last Updated

21 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Redundancy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for redundancy


How to pronounce redundancy (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of redundancy

: the act of using a word, phrase, etc., that repeats something else and is therefore unnecessary
: a word, phrase, etc., that repeats something else and is therefore unnecessary : a redundant word, phrase, etc.
technical : a part in a machine, system, etc., that has the same function as another part and that exists so that the entire machine, system, etc., will not fail if the main part fails

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