superfluous was our Word of the Day on 02/17/2015. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of superfluous in a Sentence
- In the Imagist model, the writer is a sculptor. Technique consists of chipping away everything superfluous in order to reveal the essential form within. "It took you ninety-seven words to do it," Pound is reported to have remarked to a young literary aspirant who had handed him a new poem. "I find it could have been managed in fifty-six." —Louis Menand, New Yorker, 9 & 16 June 2008
- Oddly, despite the preponderance of superfluous words, the book has no glossary, which is a must for an introductory audience. —Dorothy Merritts, Eos, 3 Oct. 2000
- Twenty years ago, baby boomers were written about as if every one of them had as a life goal making enough money to accumulate the same superfluous material objects that everyone else had. —Calvin Trillin, Time, 6 Sept. 1999
cleared off all the superfluous stuff on his desk to make room for the new computer
Recent Examples of superfluous from the Web
Though relayed only in snatches, Joe's memories form a tapestry of pain so visceral that any further explanation for his current line of work would have felt superfluous.
Nothing about this design is superfluous or perfunctory.
Too many art books read as though the person who created the work is superfluous to the art; most biographies ultimately fail to show the connection of the creator to the creation.
Setting the stage for Ashley Graham feels superfluous.
The biographical details, meant to warm the heart and stoke outrage, feel superfluous.
In a perfect world, the warnings would be superfluous.
There’s an emotionally superfluous mid-film funeral for a rat, and the classic rock soundtrack tilts away from the Kinks and David Bowie toward the Beach Boys and the Rolling Stones.
Those favoring elimination said the Election Commission is a superfluous level of government, because the County Clerk's office also registers voters and holds elections, and could do so in Aurora.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'superfluous.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
If you think that superfluous must mean "extra 'fluous,'" along the pattern of such words as superabsorbent and superabundant, you're not far off. Superfluous comes from the Latin adjective superfluus, meaning literally "running over" or "overflowing." Superfluus, in turn, derives from the combination of the prefix super- (meaning "over" or "more") and fluere, "to flow." (Fluere also gave us fluid, fluent, and influence, among others.) Since its first appearance in English in the 15th century, superfluous has referred to an "overflowing" of some supply, as of time or words, which hearkens back to its Latin origins.
SUPERFLUOUS Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of superfluous for English Language Learners
: beyond what is needed : not necessary
SUPERFLUOUS Defined for Kids
Word Root of superfluous
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