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pleonasm

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n pleonasm using more words than necessary "a tiny little child"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Pleonasm (Rhet) Redundancy of language in speaking or writing; the use of more words than are necessary to express the idea; as, I saw it with my own eyes .
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n pleonasm Redundancy of language; the use of more words than are necessary to express an idea. Pleonasm may be justifiable when the intention is to present thoughts with particular perspicuity or force.
    • n pleonasm A redundant phrase or expression; an instance of redundancy of language.
    • n pleonasm In medicine, excess in number or size. Synonyms Pleonasm, Verbosity, Tautology, Circumlocution, Periphrasis, Verbiage, Redundancy. By pleonasm is meant the employment of more words than usual, or of redundant words. When properly employed, it is productive of a high degree of emphasis…. By Verbosity is meant an excessive use of words; it arises from a natural gift of fluent expression, which has not been sufficiently chastened and corrected. … Tautology arises from verbosity, and may be defined as the repetition of the same idea in different words…. Circumlocution is another characteristic of verbosity; it means a roundabout mode of speech, where, instead of a direct statement of meaning, the words are multiplied to an unnecessary extent. When properly employed, this is a recognized figure of speech, periphrasis…. Periphrasis is also known as circumlocution, but the term periphrasis generally refers to those cases where the figure is used with effect, while circumlocution refers to its faulty use. Periphrasis may be defined as naming a thing indirectly by means of some well-known attribute, or characteristic, or attendant circumstance.” J De Mille, Rhetoric, §§ 27, 28, 29, 132, 218. Verbiage and verbosity are contemptuous words, verbiage being more often applied to the things said or written that are verbose : as, his speech was mere verbiage. Pleonasm and periphrasis are terms of rhetoric, with some general use; the others are in common use. Redundancy expresses without contempt the fact that more words are used than are necessary.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Pleonasm plē′o-nazm use of more words than are necessary:
    • n Pleonasm plē′o-nazm (rhet.) a redundant expression
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. pleonasmus, Gr., fr. to be more than enough, to abound, fr., neut. of, more, compar. of much. See Full, a., and cf. Poly- Plus
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gr. pleonasmospleiōn, more.

Usage

In literature:

The phrase "think for one's self" is a pleonasm.
"Democracy and Education" by John Dewey
PLEONASM, n. An army of words escorting a corporal of thought.
"The Devil's Dictionary" by Ambrose Bierce
They abound in obscurities, irrelevancies, solecisms, pleonasms, inconsistencies, awkwardnesses of construction, wrong uses of words.
"Charmides" by Plato
I can never too often repeat, that revealed religion is a pleonasm.
"Coleridge's Literary Remains, Volume 4." by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Let the word come after the gesture and there will be no pleonasm.
"Delsarte System of Oratory" by Various
Nothing is gained in strength nor precision by this kind of pleonasm.
"Write It Right" by Ambrose Bierce
These are instances of pleonasm in the strictest sense of the term.
"A Handbook of the English Language" by Robert Gordon Latham
We have had pleonasm without fullness, and facility without force.
"Coelebs In Search of a Wife" by Hannah More
These are instances of pleonasm in the strictest sense of the term.
"The English Language" by Robert Gordon Latham
Accompany her among her female friends and female enemies (if that is no pleonasm), and look at her!
"The Campaner Thal and Other Writings" by Jean Paul Friedrich Richter
If we say that it is the science of the spirit, we indulge in a useless pleonasm.
"The Reform of Education" by Giovanni Gentile
To call it 'the will to live' is therefore a pleonasm.
"Schopenhauer" by Thomas Whittaker
Accompany her among her female friends and female enemies (if that is no pleonasm), and look at her!
"Translations from the German (Vol 3 of 3)" by Thomas Carlyle
The phrase then was not a pleonasm.
"The Evolution of States" by J. M. Robertson
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In news:

But virtual reality - or VR - is becoming a pleonasm.
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