supernumerary

adjective
su·​per·​nu·​mer·​ary | \ ˌsü-pər-ˈnü-mə-ˌrer-ē How to pronounce supernumerary (audio) , -ˈnyü-, -mə-rē; -ˈn(y)üm-rē \

Definition of supernumerary

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : exceeding the usual, stated, or prescribed number a supernumerary tooth
b : not enumerated among the regular components of a group and especially of a military organization
2 : exceeding what is necessary, required, or desired
3 : more numerous

supernumerary

noun
plural supernumeraries

Definition of supernumerary (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a supernumerary person or thing
2 : an actor employed to play a walk-on

Synonyms for supernumerary

Synonyms: Adjective

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Supernumerary starts off with the Latin prefix super-, "above". You may have heard of someone being born with supernumerary teeth, supernumerary fingers, or supernumerary toes. A supernumerary rainbow may show up as a faint line—red, green, or purple—just touching the main colored arc. Supernumerary is also a noun: A supernumerary is usually someone in a crowd scene onstage, otherwise known as an "extra" or a "spear-carrier".

Examples of supernumerary in a Sentence

Adjective a third, supernumerary witness to the signing of the will
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The number of companions is limited to 24, although supernumerary members do not count towards this total. Katie Campione, PEOPLE.com, 31 Dec. 2021 The number of companions is limited to 24, although supernumerary members do not count towards this total. Katie Campione, PEOPLE.com, 31 Dec. 2021 The number of companions is limited to 24, although supernumerary members do not count towards this total. Katie Campione, PEOPLE.com, 31 Dec. 2021 The number of companions is limited to 24, although supernumerary members do not count towards this total. Katie Campione, PEOPLE.com, 31 Dec. 2021 The number of companions is limited to 24, although supernumerary members do not count towards this total. Katie Campione, PEOPLE.com, 31 Dec. 2021 The number of companions is limited to 24, although supernumerary members do not count towards this total. Katie Campione, PEOPLE.com, 31 Dec. 2021 The number of companions is limited to 24, although supernumerary members do not count towards this total. Katie Campione, PEOPLE.com, 31 Dec. 2021 The number of companions is limited to 24, although supernumerary members do not count towards this total. Katie Campione, PEOPLE.com, 31 Dec. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun One of West Hartford’s earlier patrol officers, Martin McCue, started as a part-time supernumerary in 1929 and became a full-time officer a year later. Don Stacom, courant.com, 12 Nov. 2020 As reported by ITV News, King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and King Felipe VI of Spain are being invested as supernumerary, or Stranger Knights of the Garter by Queen Elizabeth in this year's ceremony. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, 17 June 2019 Aside from work and travel, Mrs. Gradet was an extra — or supernumerary — in several productions of the Baltimore Opera, along with her husband and children. Christina Tkacik, baltimoresun.com, 20 May 2018 Broken into six-hour installments spaced out over two weeks, the hallucinatory concert extravaganza is being custom tailored, with local musicians, guest artists and glittery supernumeraries brought in for the occasion. Charles Mcnulty, latimes.com, 14 Mar. 2018 History will be merciless to them, but how much fun to watch them reduced to thunderstruck supernumeraries in real time. Frank Rich, Daily Intelligencer, 13 Sep. 2017 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'supernumerary.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of supernumerary

Adjective

1605, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1639, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for supernumerary

Adjective

Late Latin supernumerarius, from Latin super- + numerus number

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Time Traveler for supernumerary

Time Traveler

The first known use of supernumerary was in 1605

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Dictionary Entries Near supernumerary

supernova

supernumerary

supernumerary bud

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Statistics for supernumerary

Cite this Entry

“Supernumerary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/supernumerary. Accessed 7 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for supernumerary

supernumerary

adjective
su·​per·​nu·​mer·​ary | \ ˌsü-pər-ˈn(y)ü-mə-ˌrer-ē, -ˈn(y)üm-(ə-)rē How to pronounce supernumerary (audio) \

Medical Definition of supernumerary

: exceeding the usual or normal number supernumerary teeth a supernumerary rib

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