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 human knows the limits of the machine, there is (certainly in a commercial plane context) redundancy in a human co-pilot, and most importantly - any transition between automatic system and manual control is measured, anticipated and seamless. Charles Radclyffe, Forbes, "Tesla Texas Crash: Why Autopilots Are Always To Blame," 20 Apr. 2021 There will be more redundancy and safety functionality. Dave Altavilla, Forbes, "NVIDIA Unveils Powerful Grace AI Supercomputing CPU And Atlan Secure Autonomous Vehicle Platform," 12 Apr. 2021 The goal of the bill is to promote government efficiency, according to the sponsoring lawmaker Rep. Casey Snider, R-Paradise, who believes the agencies’ overlapping missions results in bureaucratic redundancy. Brian Maffly, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Does a plan to merge Utah’s environment and natural resources agencies signal a waning commitment to clean air, water in Utah?," 14 Jan. 2021 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

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

28 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Redundancy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 May. 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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