re·​dun·​dan·​cy | \ri-ˈdən-dən(t)-sē \
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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

But building safe self-driving cars is all about maximizing redundancy. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "This lidar/camera hybrid could be a powerful addition to driverless cars," 4 Sep. 2018 The new lobbying apparatus, an effort to cut redundancies among bank trade groups, will also have to manage competing interests between its members especially at the granular level of detail that characterizes rulemaking. Lalita Clozel, WSJ, "Big Banks Reshape Lobbying Game," 16 July 2018 There are essentially three vehicle info display areas with some redundancy. Robert Duffer,, "Review: Subaru climbs into 3-row class with 2019 Ascent," 26 June 2018 Under the leadership of president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and general manager Farhan Zaidi, the Dodgers strive to fortify their roster with enough redundancy to handle the absence of almost any individual. Andy Mccullough,, "With Clayton Kershaw sidelined, Dodgers' depth will be tested yet again," 7 May 2018 Much of the city’s efforts in the years afterward focused on adding redundancy and in making pipes quake resistant. Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press, "Japan's 1995 earthquake offers disaster lessons for today," 3 Feb. 2018 Factor in the redundancies the Celtics have with Terry Rozier and Kyrie Irving in the backcourt and Jayson Tatum, Gordon Heyward and Jaylen Brown on the wing, and no team can beat the kind of offer that Danny Ainge can make. David Murphy,, "Kawhi Leonard trade sweepstakes may get too steep for Sixers if Lakers, Celtics make best offers | David Murphy," 28 June 2018 The redundancies and flaws that teams grow to live with suddenly become solvable. Rob Mahoney,, "The LeBron James Experiment: Considering NBA Free Agency Scenarios for The King," 27 June 2018 The armor and redundancy has allowed pilots to safely return with big-time battle damage, like in 2003 when Capt. Eric Tegler, Popular Mechanics, "Why the A-10 Warthog Is Such a Badass Plane," 19 Nov. 2016

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.

See More

First Known Use of redundancy

1601, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about redundancy

Share redundancy

Statistics for redundancy

Last Updated

14 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for redundancy

The first known use of redundancy was in 1601

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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.

: 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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on redundancy

What made you want to look up redundancy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!