- needless repetition of an idea, especially in words other than those of the immediate context, without imparting additional force or clearness, as in “widow woman.”
- an instance of such repetition.
- a compound propositional form all of whose instances are true, as “A or not A.”
- an instance of such a form, as “This candidate will win or will not win.”
Origin of tautology
Examples from the Web for tautology
Mainly because it is, as my annoying college roommate would term it, a tautology.The State of the Union Should Be More Like the Super Bowl
February 1, 2014
So with them it would be tautology to say Kimbundu language.Stanley in Africa
James P. Boyd
Let this excuse what may, at times, appear to be a repetition or a tautology.
The milk pails were on the fence twice, Lady Blue, that is tautology.Tessa Wadsworth's Discipline
Jennie M. Drinkwater
Tautology is to be avoided by all who make any pretence to grammar.New Word-Analysis
If he had laboured with no other defect, had he the gift of tautology?The Uncollected Writings of Thomas de Quincey--Vol. 1
Thomas de Quincey
- the use of words that merely repeat elements of the meaning already conveyed, as in the sentence Will these supplies be adequate enough? in place of Will these supplies be adequate?
- logic a statement that is always true, esp a truth-functional expression that takes the value true for all combinations of values of its components, as in either the sun is out or the sun is not outCompare inconsistency (def. 3), contingency (def. 5)
Word Origin and History for tautology
1570s, from Late Latin tautologia "representation of the same thing," from Greek tautologia, from tautologos "repeating what has been said," from tauto "the same" + -logos "saying," related to legein "to say" (see lecture (n.)).