noun, plural tau·tol·o·gies.
- 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.”
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Origin of tautology
OTHER WORDS FROM tautology
WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH tautologyredundancy, tautology
Words nearby tautology
What does tautology mean?
A tautology is the unnecessary repetition of an idea, statement, or word whose meaning has already been expressed, as in 8 a.m. in the morning. (The label a.m. indicates the morning, so in the morning creates a tautology).
Tautologies say the same thing twice without adding new information or emphasis.
In logic, tautology has a more specific meaning: a statement that is always true, as in Statement 1 is true or not true or Either we will arrive on time or we will not arrive on time.
Example: My professor pointed out that the phrase “evening sunset” is a tautology because sunsets always happen in the evening.
Where does tautology come from?
The first records of the word tautology come from the 1500s. It comes from the Greek tautología. The combining form tauto- means “same,” and the ending -logy can be used in reference to writing or discourse.
Tautologies are often avoided in writing because they consist of an unnecessary repetition of the same information without adding any emphasis. Of course, this is sometimes a matter of preference. The phrases dilapidated ruins and dry desert can be considered tautologies because the adjective in each expresses something already expressed by the noun. But it could be argued that they add emphasis. Some tautologies are more obvious, as in She’s a beginner who just started or We are currently closed at this time.
In logic, tautology refers to a statement that’s true in every interpretation, as in Either we will win or we will not win.
The word redundancy is similar, but it’s usually used more generally, often for the simple repetition of a specific word, as in The Department of Redundancy Department or $20 dollars (in which dollars is unnecessary due to the use of the symbol $). By contrast, an oxymoron is a phrase or expression that uses terms that contradict each other, as in the phrase growing smaller.
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What are some other forms related to tautology?
- tautological (adjective)
- tautologic (adjective)
- tautologous (adjective)
- tautologism (noun)
- tautologize (verb)
- tautologically (adverb)
- tautologously (adverb)
- nontautological (adjective)
What are some words that share a root or word element with tautology?
What are some words that often get used in discussing tautology?
How is tautology used in real life?
The word tautology is often discussed in the context of writing as something to avoid. When spotted in real life, tautologies are often humorous.
'currently unable to offer this service at this time' is a bit of a tautology innit. (MBNA telephone helpline if you're interested.)
— Jack Fraser (@muninnherself) March 30, 2020
“Face mask” is a tautology. Discuss.
— Tim Parker (@pozlit) April 18, 2020
Love never fades.
No such thing as "true love". That's tautology. If it's not true, it's not love. Period. https://t.co/QxGNHEIxcT
— 🇳🇬Dr. Strange🇦🇺 (@the_ngozi) April 13, 2020
Try using tautology!
Which of the following phrases is an example of a tautology?
A. brown dog
B. roasted carrot
C. frozen ice
D. shiny car
Example sentences 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|Kevin Bleyer|February 1, 2014|DAILY BEAST
It is tautology, for two sentences further on it is all expressed in its proper place, in referring to the history of the king.Junius Unmasked|Joel Moody
He utterly despised the avoidance of repetitions out of fear of tautology.Literary Friends And Acquaintances|William Dean Howells
When they grow up and have ideas which are beyond their powers of expression, especially in writing, tautology begins to appear.Cratylus|Plato
He doth likewise the same thing, is a tautology characteristic of the writer: il fet meismes ceste chose, F.
Wraxall panegyrizes him, and yet with a tautology of terms, which must have been the very reverse of Dunning's style.