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tautology

[taw-tol-uh-jee] /tɔˈtɒl ə dʒi/
noun, plural tautologies.
1.
needless repetition of an idea, especially in words other than those of the immediate context, without imparting additional force or clearness, as in “widow woman.”.
2.
an instance of such repetition.
3.
Logic.
  1. a compound propositional form all of whose instances are true, as “A or not A.”.
  2. an instance of such a form, as “This candidate will win or will not win.”.
Origin
1570-1580
1570-80; < Late Latin tautologia < Greek tautología. See tauto-, -logy
Related forms
tautological
[tawt-l-oj-i-kuh l] /ˌtɔt lˈɒdʒ ɪ kəl/ (Show IPA),
tautologic, tautologous
[taw-tol-uh-guh s] /tɔˈtɒl ə gəs/ (Show IPA),
adjective
tautologically, tautologously, adverb
tautologist, noun
nontautological, adjective
nontautologically, adverb
untautological, adjective
untautologically, adverb
Can be confused
redundancy, tautology.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for tautological
  • It's one of those wonderful tautological arguments that has never had evidence in support of it, and is wrong.
  • In fact, the author of this article is guilty of the same tautological conclusions that he pins to those he attacks.
  • The idea of the genius-madman is a tiresome one: sentimental, tautological, demeaning to artists.
  • The theory of natural selection is tautological, or a form of circular reasoning.
  • As conspicuous as the conceit itself is the punning and tautological spirit in which it is deployed.
  • In addition, his definition is partly tautological in saying that intelligence is that which is protected by counterintelligence.
  • Philosophically, this question is either tautological or it is unanswerable.
  • Hence, there are no tautological issues involved in using these variables to predict default events.
British Dictionary definitions for tautological

tautology

/tɔːˈtɒlədʒɪ/
noun (pl) -gies
1.
the use of words that merely repeat elements of the meaning already conveyed, as in the sentence Will these supplies be adequate enough? in place of Will these supplies be adequate?
2.
(logic) a statement that is always true, esp a truth-functional expression that takes the value true for all combinations of values of its components, as in either the sun is out or the sun is not out Compare inconsistency (sense 3), contingency (sense 5)
Derived Forms
tautological (ˌtɔːtəˈlɒdʒɪkəl), tautologic, tautologous, adjective
tautologically, tautologously, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from Late Latin tautologia, from Greek, from tautologos
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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Word Origin and History for tautological

tautology

n.

1570s, from Late Latin tautologia "representation of the same thing," from Greek tautologia, from tautologos "repeating what has been said," from tauto "the same" + -logos "saying," related to legein "to say" (see lecture (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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