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superflu(ous) +‎ -ity, Old French superfluite, from Medieval Latin superfluitas, from Latin superfluus.


  • IPA(key): /ˌsuː.pəˈfluː.ɪ.ti/
  • (file)


superfluity (countable and uncountable, plural superfluities)

  1. The quality or state of being superfluous; overflowingness.
    Antonym: necessity
  2. Something superfluous, as a luxury.
    Antonym: necessity
    • 1766, [Oliver Goldsmith], chapter 4, in The Vicar of Wakefield: [], volumes (please specify |volume=I or II), Salisbury, Wiltshire: [] B. Collins, for F[rancis] Newbery, [], →OCLC; reprinted London: Elliot Stock, 1885, →OCLC:
      As they had almost all the conveniencies of life within themselves, they seldom visited towns or cities in search of superfluity.
    • 1837, L[etitia] E[lizabeth] L[andon], “Lady Marchmont to Sir Jasper Meredith. Courtiers.”, in Ethel Churchill: Or, The Two Brides. [], volume I, London: Henry Colburn, [], →OCLC, page 256:
      I really doubt whether there be such a thing as a heart in the world: perhaps, after all, it is only an elegant superfluity kept for the use of poets. Certainly we have no use for it here.
    • 1848 November – 1850 December, William Makepeace Thackeray, chapter 46, in The History of Pendennis. [], volumes (please specify |volume=I or II), London: Bradbury and Evans, [], published 1849–1850, →OCLC:
      It is to be presumed that Miss Blanche Amory had more than one rose in her bouquet, and why should not the kind young creature give out of her superfluity, and make as many partners as possible happy?
  3. (rare) Collective noun for a group of nuns.
    • 1905, Herbert A. Evans, Highways and Byways in Oxford and the Cotswolds, Macmillan and Co, page 266:
      These probably mark the dwelling of a colony, or to speak more precisely, according to Dame Juliana Berners, a superfluity of nuns from Godstow, which nunnery had a cell there, and was patron of the living.
    • 2011, Sam Cullen, The Odd Bunnies, unnumbered page:
      Alice put Anna back on the shelf and turned up the volume on the TV, where a local news reporter was imparting a salutary tale of woe involving a superfluity of nuns who'd got into a scrape at a crab festival.
    • 2012, Beth Yarnall, Rush[1], Crimson Romance, published 2012, →ISBN:
      [] That man could charm the panties off a superfluity of nuns.”


Further reading[edit]