"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[soo-pur-floo-uh s] /sʊˈpɜr flu əs/
being more than is sufficient or required; excessive.
unnecessary or needless.
Obsolete. possessing or spending more than enough or necessary; extravagant.
Origin of superfluous
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Latin superfluus, equivalent to super- super- + flu- (stem of fluere to flow) + -us -ous
Related forms
superfluously, adverb
superfluousness, noun
unsuperfluous, adjective
unsuperfluously, adverb
unsuperfluousness, noun
1. extra; redundant. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for superfluous
  • If people think the extra meeting is superfluous or unclear on its purpose, they can raise their objections for all to hear.
  • He may have felt any extra knowledge was superfluous.
  • Asking about the story played out in the game is a bit superfluous.
  • Indeed, so potent is their self-organization that it threatens to render superfluous the employer and the state.
  • In a climate where clothes are superfluous, this is how you dress up for special occasions.
  • There the poet sustains himself merely by his own superfluous fat, and the philosopher comes down on his marrow-bones.
  • Cable companies appear to be obsessed with the pursuit of more revenue even if it means superfluous power consumption.
  • The argument about whether any climate change is human caused or simply a normal fluctuation in temperature is superfluous.
  • It is no big loss when superfluous things disappear.
  • Many other alternative energy resources and technologies are dismissed with superfluous remarks or even not mentioned at all.
British Dictionary definitions for superfluous


exceeding what is sufficient or required
not necessary or relevant; uncalled-for
(obsolete) extravagant in expenditure or oversupplied with possessions
Derived Forms
superfluously, adverb
superfluousness, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Latin superfluus overflowing, from super- + fluere to flow
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Contemporary definitions for superfluous

unnecessary; uncalled-for; wasteful

Word Origin

Latin super- + fluere 'to flow''s 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014, LLC
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Word Origin and History for superfluous

early 15c. (earlier superflue, late 14c.), from Latin superfluus "unnecessary," literally "overflowing," from superfluere "to overflow," from super "over" (see super-) + fluere "to flow" (see fluent).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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