[ pleth-er-uh ]
/ ˈplɛθ ər ə /


overabundance; excess: a plethora of advice and a paucity of assistance.
Pathology Archaic. a morbid condition due to excess of red corpuscles in the blood or increase in the quantity of blood.

Nearby words

  1. plesiosaur,
  2. plesiosaurus,
  3. plessimeter,
  4. plessor,
  5. plessy versus ferguson,
  6. plethoric,
  7. plethysmogram,
  8. plethysmograph,
  9. plethysmometry,
  10. pleugh

Origin of plethora

1535–45; < New Latin < Greek plēthṓra fullness

Can be confuseddearth plethora Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for plethora

British Dictionary definitions for plethora


/ (ˈplɛθərə) /


superfluity or excess; overabundance
pathol obsolete a condition caused by dilation of superficial blood vessels, characterized esp by a reddish face
Derived Formsplethoric (plɛˈθɒrɪk), adjectiveplethorically, adverb

Word Origin for plethora

C16: via Medieval Latin from Greek plēthōrē fullness, from plēthein to grow full

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 plethora



1540s, a medical word for "excess of body fluid," from Late Latin plethora, from Greek plethore "fullness," from plethein "be full" (see pleio-). Figurative meaning "too-muchness, overfullness in any respect" is first recorded 1700. Related: Plethoric.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for plethora


[ plĕthər-ə ]


An excess of blood in the circulatory system or in one organ or area.
An excess of any of the body fluids.
Related formsple•thoric (plĕ-thôrĭk) adj.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.