Word of the Day

Sunday, February 29, 2004

pleonasm

\PLEE-uh-naz-uhm\ , noun;
1.
The use of more words than are necessary to express an idea; as, "I saw it with my own eyes."
2.
An instance or example of pleonasm.
3.
A superfluous word or expression.
Quotes:
Dougan uses many words where few would do, as if pleonasm were a way of wringing every possibility out of the material he has, and stretching sentences a form of spreading the word.
-- Paula Cocozza, "Book review: How Dynamo Kiev beat the Luftwaffe", Independent, March 2, 2001
Such a phrase from President Nixon's era, much favored by politicians, is "at this moment in time." Presumably these five words mean "now." That pleonasm probably does little harm except, perhaps, to the reputation of the speaker.
-- Eoin McKiernan, "Last Word: Special Relationships", Irish America, August 31, 1994
Origin:
Pleonasm is from Greek pleonasmos, from pleon, "greater, more."
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