Word of the Day Archive
Thursday August 10, 2000
otiose \OH-shee-ohs; OH-tee-\ , adjective:
1. Ineffective; futile.
2. Being at leisure; lazy; indolent; idle.
3. Of no use.
Mr. Federspiel's surreal flourishes and commentaries straddle the line between interesting and otiose. Most of the surrealism is pretty but pointless.
-- D. F. Wallace, "The Million-Dollar Tattoo", New York Times, May 5, 1991
Although the wild outer movements and the angular Minuet can take such clockwork precision, the Andante, with its obsessive, claustrophobic dialogues between strings and bassoons, seemed sluggish and otiose.
-- Tim Ashley, "VPO/Maazel", The Guardian, April 16, 2002
The umlaut he affected, which made no difference to the pronunciation of his name, was as otiose as a pair of strategically positioned beauty spots.
-- Peter Conrad, "Hidden shallows", New Statesman, October 14, 2002
One hazard for religions in which all professional intermediaries are dispensed with, and in which the individual is enjoined to 'work out your own salvation' and is regarded as fully capable of doing so, is that belief and practice become independent of formal organized structures which may in such a context come to be perceived as otiose.
-- Lorne L. Dawson, "The Cultural Significance of New Religious Movements: The Case of Soka Gakkai", Sociology of Religion, Fall 2001
Otiose is from Latin otiosus, "idle, at leisure," from otium, "leisure."