One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1a plethora ofA large or excessive amount of (something)‘a plethora of committees and subcommittees’
abundance, lot, mass, host, plenitude, cornucopia, riotexcess, abundance, overabundance, superfluity, surfeit, profusion, more than enough, too many, too much, enough and to spare, superabundance, surplus, glut, flood, torrent, deluge, embarrassmentView synonyms
- ‘Travelers can choose from a plethora of different lodging options on a mountain vacation.’
- ‘O'Sullivan has gained a plethora of political experience and has been a strong voice at local government.’
- ‘Flicking through beauty magazines reveals a plethora of such deals, with money off a range of invasive surgical procedures.’
- ‘Still, there's a plethora of self-help books offering tips and advice.’
- ‘He was also a multi-talented musician who could adapt himself to a plethora of instruments.’
- ‘Since then I downloaded a plethora of e-mail soliciting my opinion on their local church website.’
- ‘Remuneration consultants like Chris Hart have a plethora of names.’
- ‘You can expect a plethora of them over the festive fortnight, and those with a taste for this kind of television must have been cheering last week.’
- ‘This CD has nothing but unexciting songs that could get lost and forgotten in a plethora of much better music.’
- ‘If the indoor concerts are of lesser interest to the jazz devotee than in the past, the free shows offer a plethora of talent.’
- ‘That criminality should not be obscured by a plethora of psychological or psychiatric assumptions.’
- ‘This is a complicated, compelling book with countless strands that would provide fodder for a plethora of novels or histories.’
- ‘Yes, there is a plethora of things to do when you're a student, self-employed, or a little short on cash.’
- ‘This was hardly a thriller, but there was plentiful excitement due to a plethora of mistakes from both defences in the second half.’
- ‘More recently, a plethora of books questioning the foundations of Western faith have appeared.’
- ‘The British Isles boast a plethora of university art galleries.’
- ‘Going through a major physical change can bring about a plethora of feelings.’
- ‘A woman of today can be considered luckier as she has a plethora of designs to choose from, from casual wear to party wear.’
- ‘He faces a plethora of charges ranging from aggravated assault to indecent exposure and corruption of a minor.’
- ‘Over 50 retailers have put up their stalls to give consumers a plethora of opportunities to shop.’
An excess of a bodily fluid, particularly blood.
- ‘With the development of plethora, the number of reticulated cells in the blood decreased.’
- ‘An anemia which developed despite continued blood transfusions in two dogs splenectomized during plethora has also been studied.’
Strictly, a plethora is not just an abundance of something, it is an excessive amount. However, the new, looser sense is now so dominant that it must be regarded as part of standard English
Mid 16th century (in the medical sense): via late Latin from Greek plēthōrē, from plēthein ‘be full’.
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