being more than is sufficient or required; excessive.
unnecessary or needless.
Obsolete. possessing or spending more than enough or necessary; extravagant.

Origin of superfluous

1400–50; late Middle English < Latin superfluus, equivalent to super- super- + flu- (stem of fluere to flow) + -us -ous
Related formssu·per·flu·ous·ly, adverbsu·per·flu·ous·ness, nounun·su·per·flu·ous, adjectiveun·su·per·flu·ous·ly, adverbun·su·per·flu·ous·ness, noun

Synonyms for superfluous Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for superfluous

Contemporary Examples of superfluous

Historical Examples of superfluous

  • Of the significance of the life of this great man, it would be superfluous to speak.

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook

  • Comments on these letters would be superfluous, as they speak forcibly for themselves.


    Scian Dubh

  • That is the civilized fashion; and is superfluous among savages.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

  • It was just as well—any further word of mine would have been superfluous.

    The Underdog

    F. Hopkinson Smith

  • She was a tall, large woman, well-knit, with no superfluous flesh.

    Tiverton Tales

    Alice Brown

British Dictionary definitions for superfluous



exceeding what is sufficient or required
not necessary or relevant; uncalled-for
obsolete extravagant in expenditure or oversupplied with possessions
Derived Formssuperfluously, adverbsuperfluousness, noun

Word Origin for superfluous

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

Word Origin and History for superfluous

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