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Late Latin pleonasmus, from Ancient Greek πλεονασμός ‎(pleonasmós), from πλεονάζω ‎(pleonázō, I am superfluous), from πλείων ‎(pleíōn, more).


  • IPA(key): /ˈpliːənæzəm/


pleonasm ‎(countable and uncountable, plural pleonasms)

  1. (uncountable, rhetoric) Redundancy in wording.
    • 1993, Anthony Burgess, A Dead Man in Deptford,
      My salvation is in my Saviour who saveth me hence the redundancy and pleonasm of my asseveration.
    • Dec 14, 2007, Ryan North, Dinosaur Comics,
      pleonasm is the additional and extra use of added, spare, unnecessary, redundant (superfluous or surplus), unneeded, and uncalled-for words in addition to, and on top of, what is necessary or essential. Or required. Or obligatory or vital or requisite or crucial. Or needed?
  2. (countable) A phrase involving pleonasm, that is, a phrase in which one or more words are redundant as their meaning is expressed elsewhere in the phrase.
    "The two of them are both the same" is a pleonasm (as the word "both" is redundant), as is "killed dead".

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