[ plee-uh-naz-uh m ]
/ ˈpli əˌnæz əm /


the use of more words than are necessary to express an idea; redundancy.
an instance of this, as free gift or true fact.
a redundant word or expression.

Origin of pleonasm

1580–90; < Late Latin pleonasmus < Greek pleonasmós redundancy, surplus, derivative of pleonázein to be or have more than enough, itself derivative of pleíōn more (see pleo-)

Related forms

ple·o·nas·tic, adjectiveple·o·nas·ti·cal·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pleonasm

British Dictionary definitions for pleonasm


/ (ˈpliːəˌnæzəm) /

noun rhetoric

the use of more words than necessary or an instance of this, such as a tiny little child
a word or phrase that is superfluous

Derived Forms

pleonastic, adjectivepleonastically, adverb

Word Origin for pleonasm

C16: from Latin pleonasmus, from Greek pleonasmos excess, from pleonazein to be redundant
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

Medicine definitions for pleonasm


[ plēə-năz′əm ]


An excess in the number or size of parts.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.