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See more synonyms for superfluous on Thesaurus.com
  1. being more than is sufficient or required; excessive.
  2. unnecessary or needless.
  3. Obsolete. possessing or spending more than enough or necessary; extravagant.
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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


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for superfluousness

Historical Examples

  • These Associations demonstrate the superfluousness of trade in a differently organized society.

    Woman under socialism

    August Bebel

  • But she enjoyed the consciousness of knowing more than he did; she even forgave him his superfluousness.

    Mount Music

    E. Oe. Somerville and Martin Ross

  • What superfluousness, indeed, could there be in intelligence, unless its conceptions resemble imperfect productions?

  • Sister Maria Joseph, recognising with trembling her superfluousness, withdrew.

    Mount Music

    E. Oe. Somerville and Martin Ross

British Dictionary definitions for superfluousness


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

Word Origin

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 superfluousness



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).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper