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[ri-duhn-duh n-see]
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noun, plural re·dun·dan·cies.
  1. the state of being redundant.
  2. superfluous repetition or overlapping, especially of words.
  3. a redundant thing, part, or amount; superfluity.
  4. the provision of additional or duplicate systems, equipment, etc., that function in case an operating part or system fails, as in a spacecraft.
  5. Linguistics.
    1. the inclusion of more information than is necessary for communication, as in those cars, where both words are marked for plurality.
    2. the additional, predictable information so included.
    3. the degree of predictability thereby created.
  6. Chiefly British.
    1. the condition or fact of being unemployed; unemployment.
    2. a layoff.
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Sometimes re·dun·dance.

Origin of redundancy

1595–1605; < Latin redundantia an overflowing, excess, derivative of redundāns redundant; see -ancy
Can be confusedredundancy tautology
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for redundancy


noun plural -cies
    1. the state or condition of being redundant or superfluous, esp superfluous in one's job
    2. (as modifier)a redundancy payment
  1. excessive proliferation or profusion, esp of superfluity
  2. duplication of components in electronic or mechanical equipment so that operations can continue following failure of a part
  3. repetition of information or inclusion of additional information to reduce errors in telecommunication transmissions and computer processing
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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 redundancy


c.1600; see redundant + -ancy. Sense in employment is from 1931, chiefly British.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

redundancy in Culture


Unnecessary repetition in speech or writing. The expression freedom and liberty is redundant.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.