sur·​plus·​age | \ ˈsər-(ˌ)plə-sij How to pronounce surplusage (audio) \

Definition of surplusage

2a : excessive or nonessential matter
b : matter introduced in legal pleading which is not necessary or relevant to the case

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Examples of surplusage in a Sentence

a mall with a surplusage of stores all selling the same lines of clothing
Recent Examples on the Web In everyday speech, in legal texts and even in translations of Genesis, one person’s surplusage may be another person’s way of dealing with inevitable trade-offs between clarity and concision. Sam Bray, Washington Post, 25 June 2017

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

First Known Use of surplusage

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for surplusage

Time Traveler

The first known use of surplusage was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Surplusage.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for surplusage


sur·​plus·​age | \ ˈsər-ˌplə-sij How to pronounce surplusage (audio) \

Legal Definition of surplusage

: excessive or nonessential matter especially : matter contained in a pleading that is unnecessary or irrelevant

More from Merriam-Webster on surplusage

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for surplusage


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