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  • Adj.

superfluous

soo-PUR-floo-uhs

Context
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I like simple kitchens, without a lot of superfluous or extra, unneeded details. My mother’s kitchen, on the other hand, is so full of decorative clutter and superfluous stuff that I simply can’t find a place to set down my coffee cup! She buys every unnecessary, superfluous item advertised on TV—I often wonder what drives her to buy such an excess of silly things.

Quiz: When is something superfluous?

  • When it distracts you from what matters.
  • When it has too many details.
  • When it is not needed.

Memory Hook
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Super Flu Infects Everything The super flu not only killed people and animals, but also superfluously infected even plants and rocks, on which it had no effect.

Examples
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  • Eliminate something superfluous from your life. Break a habit. Do something that makes you feel insecure. — Piero Ferrucci Piero ferrucci
  • Kluger says that a discovery of this magnitude tends to generate great enthusiasm and commitment: 'It is unlikely that a legislator could make a persuasive argument right now that space exploration is superfluous. —TIME
  • Whether a weapon is not 'of a nature to cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering' depends upon careful review and the exercise of judgment by individuals with the requisite knowledge and expertise, appointed by their governments for this task. —BNET
  • Any analysis of winners and losers from this summer seems superfluous, because in three years, nearly everyone who signed a player is going to be a loser. —Sports Illustrated

Word Ingredients
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super- over, above
flu flow
-ous possessing the nature of

That which is superfluous “flows over and above” what is necessary.

Word Theater
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The Man Who Knew Too Much The paying of the money would be rather superfluous.
Superfluous

Word Constellation
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Superfluous