What does superfluous mean?

Definitions for superfluous
sʊˈpɜr flu əssu·per·flu·ous

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word superfluous.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. otiose, pointless, purposeless, senseless, superfluous, wastedadjective

    serving no useful purpose; having no excuse for being

    "otiose lines in a play"; "advice is wasted words"; "a pointless remark"; "a life essentially purposeless"; "senseless violence"

  2. excess, extra, redundant, spare, supererogatory, superfluous, supernumerary, surplusadjective

    more than is needed, desired, or required

    "trying to lose excess weight"; "found some extra change lying on the dresser"; "yet another book on heraldry might be thought redundant"; "skills made redundant by technological advance"; "sleeping in the spare room"; "supernumerary ornamentation"; "it was supererogatory of her to gloat"; "delete superfluous (or unnecessary) words"; "extra ribs as well as other supernumerary internal parts"; "surplus cheese distributed to the needy"


  1. superfluousadjective

    in excess of what is required or sufficient

    With a full rain suit, carrying an umbrella may be superfluous.

  2. Etymology: From superfluus, from superfluo, from super + fluo. Compare mellifluous and fluid, also from Latin. Literally corresponds to overflow, which is from Germanic, rather than Latin.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Superfluousadjective

    Exuberant; more than enough; unnecessary; offensive by being more than sufficient.

    Etymology: super and fluo, Lat. superflu, Fr.

    I think it superfluous to use any words of a subject so praised in itself as it needs no praises. Philip Sidney.

    When a thing ceaseth to be available unto the end which gave it being, the continuance of it must then appear superfluous. Richard Hooker.

    Our superfluous lacqueys and our peasants,
    Who in unnecessary action swarm
    About our squares of battle. William Shakespeare, Henry V.

    A proper title of a peace, and purchas’d
    At a superfluous rate. William Shakespeare.

    As touching the ministring to the saints, it is superfluous to write. 2 Cor. ix. i.

    Quintus Horatius Flaccus will our superfluous branches prune,
    Give us new rules, and set our harp in tune. Wentworth Dillon.

    If ye know,
    Why ask ye, and superfluous begin
    Your message, like to end as much in vain? John Milton.


  1. superfluous

    Superfluous refers to something that is unnecessary, extra, or more than sufficient or required; excessive. It often implies an excess of what is necessary or needed for a particular purpose.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Superfluousadjective

    more than is wanted or is sufficient; rendered unnecessary by superabundance; unnecessary; useless; excessive; as, a superfluous price

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Superfluous

    sū-pėr′flōō-us, adj. more than enough: unnecessary or useless.—n. Superflū′ity, a superfluous quantity or more than enough: state of being superfluous: superabundance.—adv. Super′fluously.—ns. Super′fluousness, superfluity; Sū′perflux (Shak.), any superfluity. [L. superfluussuper, above, fluĕre, to flow.]

Editors Contribution

  1. superfluous


    Submitted by cathi_b on August 31, 2020  

How to pronounce superfluous?

How to say superfluous in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of superfluous in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of superfluous in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of superfluous in a Sentence

  1. Heather Wilson:

    It has been a privilege to serve alongside our Airmen over the past two years and I am proud of the progress that we have made restoring our nation's defense. We have improved the readiness of Air Force ; we have cut years out of acquisition schedules and gotten better prices through competition ; we have repealed hundreds of superfluous regulations ; and we have strengthened our ability to deter and dominate in space, i very much appreciate the opportunity to have served. I remain a strong advocate for our nation's defense and an Airman for life.

  2. Adam Kushner:

    This is not superfluous, nor a lazy architects idyll, i think it's as important as the automobile was in changing the design of cities or how the printing press altered communication.

  3. Stephen Breyer:

    It might be tempting to dismiss B. L.’s words as unworthy of the robust First Amendment protections discussed herein, but sometimes it is necessary to protect the superfluous in order to preserve the necessary.

  4. Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire:

    The superfluous is very necessary.

  5. Commander Admiral Scott Swift:

    Even now, ships and aircraft operating nearby these features, in accordance with international law are subject to superfluous warnings that threaten routine and commercial operations.

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Translations for superfluous

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"superfluous." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 25 May 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/superfluous>.

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    declare untrue; contradict
    A deny
    B interrupt
    C conform
    D attend

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