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

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 Automation will result in a natural redundancy of roles for people who are working in specific areas, for example, bus dispatches, everyday cash collections, simple tasks like reconciliation of payments. Maithreyi Seetharaman, Fortune, "The Coronavirus Economy: The startup founder in India striving to improve mass transit," 1 May 2020 The move will lead to 2,900 redundancies — about 60% of the UK workforce of Carphone Warehouse. Lianne Kolirin, CNN, "Carphone Warehouse to close all UK stores, leading to 2,900 job losses," 17 Mar. 2020 When used properly, Autopilot reduces a driver's overall workload, and the redundancy of eight external cameras, radar and 12 ultrasonic sensors provides an additional layer of safety that two eyes alone would not have. Ars Technica, "How a $300 projector can fool Tesla’s Autopilot," 28 Jan. 2020 That redundancy will come as a boon to researchers, who will soon be able to compare the solar wind (which streams out from the sun in every direction) at two points relatively close to the sun. Charlie Wood, Popular Science, "This new solar orbiter will peek at some of the sun’s most secretive spots," 28 Jan. 2020 It is designed to provide redundancy for communities that can find themselves with no internet for hours or longer if someone on a backhoe, for example, cuts a line. Judith Kohler, The Denver Post, "Tired of waiting for broadband, rural communities are tapping grants, partnerships to get modern internet," 30 Dec. 2019 If elected, Norvell’s goals as constable will be maximizing the taxpayer’s dollars by negating redundancy between the Sheriff's Office and Precinct 3 Constable’s office while refocusing on the neighborhoods that are paying for constable patrols. Claire Goodman, Houston Chronicle, "Chad Norvell files for candidacy for Fort Bend County Precinct 3 Constable," 12 Dec. 2019 Mossberg Maverick 88 Made in Mexico, the Maverick 88 is a budget Mossberg 500, which seems like a redundancy. Phil Bourjaily, Field & Stream, "The 10 Best Bargain Shotguns," 12 Sep. 2019 While part of the organization is talking about a prospect’s temperament, another part is building redundancies into the system to make sure the communication network is reliable if something goes wrong. David Moore, Dallas News, "Inside the issues an all-virtual NFL draft presents for the Dallas Cowboys and their preparation for them," 18 Apr. 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.

See More

First Known Use of redundancy

1601, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about redundancy

Time Traveler for redundancy

Time Traveler

The first known use of redundancy was in 1601

See more words from the same year

Statistics for redundancy

Last Updated

15 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Redundancy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jun. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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

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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

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!