One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1An unnecessarily or excessively large amount or number of something.‘a superfluity of unoccupied time’
surplus, excess, overabundance, glut, surfeit, profusion, plethora, embarrassment, avalanche, deluge, flood, overloadView synonyms
- ‘As a necessary consequence of the proliferation of the human species men began to depart from the simplicity of the earlier times; they sought for new means to increase the amenities of life and to acquire a superfluity of goods.’
- ‘After all, what else can one expect, when a superfluity of worthless crooks abound?’
- ‘In this land of efficiency there is a superfluity of interesting things to be seen.’
- 1.1 An unnecessary thing.‘they thought the garrison a superfluity’
- ‘If our contentions are correct, it was entirely unnecessary and would have been a superfluity in the circumstances of this case to have had such a clause.’
- ‘Having an outside force influence him was a jarring superfluity.’
- ‘But we can note that at least one commentator has noted its incompatibility with the rest of his system, while another has noted its superfluity.’
- ‘But omissions and superfluities are inevitable in such a book.’
- ‘This is why fine writing, which is regarded as a superfluity, enters the mainstream media only when it can be translated into the prevailing terms.’
- 1.2 The state of being superfluous.‘servants who had nothing to do but to display their own superfluity’
- ‘One senses Brahms's desire from about 1880 to condense his thought and shed all superfluity.’
- ‘In a definitive show of superfluity, they tried selling me tanning lotion.’
- ‘Anything that smacked of luxury or superfluity was anathema to him.’
- ‘So, the moral element was removed from the notion of luxury and superfluity, and the quality of people was linked to the quality of the things around them.’
- ‘In response to my post on idiomatic similes for superfluity and uselessness in German and English, several people emailed to draw my attention to common expressions such as ‘as useless as a chocolate teapot’ or ‘as a chocolate fireguard’.’
Late Middle English: from Old French superfluite, from late Latin superfluitas, from Latin superfluus ‘running over’ (see superfluous).
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