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 The expression usually signals redundancy, perhaps pointlessness. Washington Post, "Racism targets some but works against everybody," 12 Mar. 2021 Automation in provisioning, cybersecurity defense and redundancy enablement is critical in a good ITaaS partner. Expert Panel®, Forbes, "12 Essential Considerations For Small Businesses Thinking Of Hiring An ITaaS Vendor," 19 Mar. 2021 The electricity sector needs reliability, which requires some redundancy and excess capacity, along with rigorous evaluation and maintenance of the power grid and distribution network. Nathan O. Rosenberg, Fortune, "America’s infrastructure has reached a breaking point. It’s time to fix it," 3 Mar. 2021 Scientists had suspected some level of redundancy to the network, but Kleinfeld’s team provided a new level of detail. Emily Singer, Scientific American, "In Natural Networks, Strength in Loops," 20 Aug. 2013 With two reservoirs, two pumping stations and two inlets from Highland Park, the system has built-in redundancy, officials explained. Graydon Megan,, "Engineering consultant advises Lincolnshire trustees that village water system OK for next 20 years," 25 Feb. 2021 Fortunately, though, the new generation of submarines are built with so many levels of redundancy and fail-safes, the chances of anything bad happening are remote. James Nestor, Scientific American, "Life on the Rocks," 12 Feb. 2018 Our nation’s national parks make for the perfect escape from the redundancy of our 9 to 5 jobs, the crawl of dense traffic, and the myriad stresses elicited by the almighty dollar. Sunset Magazine, "These National Parks Are the Nation’s Most Dangerous," 20 Jan. 2021 Most modern cold-chain monitoring systems have some redundancy, such as transmitting data from monitoring devices to a central database, or paper backups. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "How hackers could undermine a successful vaccine rollout," 18 Dec. 2020

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

4 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Redundancy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for redundancy



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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