[ soo-pur-floo-uhs ]
See synonyms for superfluous on
  1. being more than is sufficient or required; excessive.

  2. unnecessary or needless.

  1. Obsolete. possessing or spending more than enough or necessary; extravagant.

Origin of superfluous

First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English, from Latin superfluus, from super- super- + flu- (stem of fluere “to flow”) + -us -ous

Other words for superfluous

Other words from superfluous

  • su·per·flu·ous·ly, adverb
  • su·per·flu·ous·ness, noun
  • un·su·per·flu·ous, adjective
  • un·su·per·flu·ous·ly, adverb
  • un·su·per·flu·ous·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use superfluous in a sentence

  • Louise asked Marie rather superfluously, for she had on her sailor-suit, rather fresher-looking than it had been before.

    Winona of the Camp Fire | Margaret Widdemer
  • "Don't be afraid of us," urged Aunt Valeria, somewhat superfluously.

    The Open Question | Elizabeth Robins
  • Even the right of translation, if you will look at the bottom of the title-page, is somewhat superfluously reserved to him.

    Some Private Views | James Payn
  • Those superfluously labelled and patched-up old-fashioned ones are as hopeless as the New Theology.

    The Chocolate Soldier | C. T. Studd

British Dictionary definitions for superfluous


/ (suːˈpɜːflʊəs) /

  1. exceeding what is sufficient or required

  2. not necessary or relevant; uncalled-for

  1. obsolete extravagant in expenditure or oversupplied with possessions

Origin of superfluous

C15: from Latin superfluus overflowing, from super- + fluere to flow

Derived forms of superfluous

  • superfluously, adverb
  • superfluousness, noun

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