Definition of tautology in English:

tautology

noun

mass noun
  • 1The saying of the same thing twice over in different words, generally considered to be a fault of style (e.g. they arrived one after the other in succession).

    • ‘The footpath outside the front of our house is flanked on both sides (is that tautology?) with low bushes.’
    • ‘But really, spinning out some kind of clever model to illustrate that idea is unnecessary tautology: I can say it in just a few simple words.’
    • ‘It is conceivable that the key to truth lies in tautology and redundancy.’
    • ‘Redundancy and tautology are undesirable, and a sign of less than careful writing.’
    • ‘Julian concurred that evenings set aside for communication with ‘dead angels’ (I'm sure there's some tautology in there) were right up his street and he couldn't believe he'd missed it.’
    repetition, repetitiveness, repetitiousness, reiteration, redundancy, superfluity, periphrasis, iteration, duplication
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1count noun A phrase or expression in which the same thing is said twice in different words.
      • ‘I'm not saying he is a sloppy reviewer, because the phrase ‘sloppy reviewer’ is a tautology when it comes to the press.’
      • ‘Note the tautology in the first sentence, the feeble attempt at punnery.’
      • ‘Incidentally, white jasmine is a tautology in the Indian context.’
      • ‘But then, Coward himself was less refined than he thought: ‘The general consensus of opinion,’ he has Hugo say, two tautologies in a mere five words.’
    2. 1.2Logic A statement that is true by necessity or by virtue of its logical form.
      • ‘Some authors treated the quantity theory as a matter of causal relation and explanation, often differing as to the content and direction of explanation, whereas others saw it as a truism, identity or tautology.’
      • ‘It doesn't affect the validity of the statement, so you can include it without destroying your tautology.’
      • ‘Tautologies are statements true by definition and so are quite incapable of empirical refutation or prediction (insofar as a prediction in science must be empirically falsifiable).’
      • ‘The past, in effect, is a tautology; it is true by virtue of its logical form alone.’
      • ‘This coinage has often provoked the accusation that nothing is really being asserted in the argument for natural selection: since fitness can only be defined by survival the phrase is a tautology.’

Origin

Mid 16th century: via late Latin from Greek, from tautologos ‘repeating what has been said’, from tauto- ‘same’ + -logos (see -logy).

Pronunciation

tautology

/tɔːˈtɒlədʒi/