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[soo-pur-floo-uh s] /sʊˈpɜr flu əs/
being more than is sufficient or required; excessive.
unnecessary or needless.
Obsolete. possessing or spending more than enough or necessary; extravagant.
Origin of superfluous
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Latin superfluus, equivalent to super- super- + flu- (stem of fluere to flow) + -us -ous
Related forms
superfluously, adverb
superfluousness, noun
unsuperfluous, adjective
unsuperfluously, adverb
unsuperfluousness, noun
1. extra; redundant. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for superfluously
Historical Examples
  • "If you'll wait one moment," he said superfluously, as he closed the door.

    The Black Bag Louis Joseph Vance
  • "I want to think out some things," he added most superfluously.

    The Destroying Angel

    Louis Joseph Vance
  • The folly of that superfluously philanthropic old gentleman should teach us proportion of purpose.

    A Logic Of Facts George Jacob Holyoake
  • "That's a very insulting sort of man," remarked Captain Giles—superfluously, I thought.

    The Shadow-Line Joseph Conrad
  • The town is small and not superfluously clean, but, of course, the respectable houses are not a part of the town.

  • "I'll show you," replied the Duke, in what struck the other as a superfluously confidential tone.

    My Lord Duke E. W. Hornung
  • "It's a dreadful storm," said Miss Matthews, superfluously, as Bettina went to get boiling water.

    Glory of Youth Temple Bailey
  • "It is raining," he says, naturally but superfluously, glancing at his coat-sleeve for confirmation of his words.

    Airy Fairy Lilian Margaret Wolfe Hamilton (AKA Duchess)
  • The book is in three parts, of which the third is superfluously specialized as "chaos."

  • We are not a superfluously civil people, and certain national characteristics betray you.

    The Mistress of Bonaventure Harold Bindloss
British Dictionary definitions for superfluously


exceeding what is sufficient or required
not necessary or relevant; uncalled-for
(obsolete) extravagant in expenditure or oversupplied with possessions
Derived Forms
superfluously, adverb
superfluousness, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Latin superfluus overflowing, from super- + fluere to flow
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Contemporary definitions for superfluously

unnecessary; uncalled-for; wasteful

Word Origin

Latin super- + fluere 'to flow''s 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014, LLC
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Word Origin and History for superfluously



early 15c. (earlier superflue, late 14c.), from Latin superfluus "unnecessary," literally "overflowing," from superfluere "to overflow," from super "over" (see super-) + fluere "to flow" (see fluent).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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