• synonyms


[oh-shee-ohs, oh-tee-]
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  1. being at leisure; idle; indolent.
  2. ineffective or futile.
  3. superfluous or useless.
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Origin of otiose

1785–95; < Latin ōtiōsus at leisure, equivalent to ōti(um) leisure + -ōsus -ose1
Related formso·ti·ose·ly, adverbo·ti·os·i·ty [oh-shee-os-i-tee, oh-tee-] /ˌoʊ ʃiˈɒs ɪ ti, ˌoʊ ti-/, o·ti·ose·ness, noun


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Examples from the Web for otiose

Historical Examples

  • Compare the supreme being of the Caribs, beneficent, otiose, unadored.

    Myth, Ritual, and Religion, Vol. 1

    Andrew Lang

  • Women with otiose husbands have a task to preserve friendship.

  • But in the great work of redemption the will of man cannot be otiose.

  • He is an absolute master of the otiose word, the superfluous sentence.

  • It appears to me that these affable familiar ghosts, practically serviceable, had cast the otiose Atahocan into the background.

British Dictionary definitions for otiose


  1. serving no useful purposeotiose language
  2. rare indolent; lazy
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Derived Formsotiosity (ˌəʊtɪˈɒsɪtɪ) or otioseness, noun

Word Origin

C18: from Latin ōtiōsus leisured, from ōtium leisure
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

Word Origin and History for otiose


1794, "unfruitful, futile," from Latin otiosus "having leisure or ease,unoccupied, idle, not busy" (source of French oiseux, Spanish ocioso, Italian otioso), from otium "leisure, free time, freedom from business," of unknown origin. Meaning "at leisure, idle" is recorded from 1850. Cf. Latin phrase otium cum dignitate "leisure with dignity." Earlier adjective in English was otious- "at ease" (1610s), and Middle English had noun otiosity (late 15c.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper