top of page
The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce superfluous (audio)

Dictionary definition of superfluous

Excessive, unnecessary, or exceeding what is required or appropriate in a given context.
"The extra details in the design were superfluous and made it look cluttered."

Detailed meaning of superfluous

It describes elements, details, or qualities that serve no essential purpose and can be considered surplus to the actual needs or expectations of a situation. 'Superfluous' often implies redundancy, extravagance, or an abundance that can hinder efficiency or clarity. For instance, using overly complex language in a simple explanation can add superfluous complexity. This term underscores the idea of excessiveness or redundancy, suggesting that the presence of such elements may be more of a hindrance than a benefit, often emphasizing the need for simplicity, economy, or effectiveness in communication, design, or decision-making.

Example sentences containing superfluous

1. The extra decorations on the cake were deemed superfluous and were removed.
2. She felt that the excessive use of makeup was superfluous and preferred a more natural look.
3. The lengthy introduction in the speech seemed superfluous and only added to the boredom of the audience.
4. The long list of unnecessary ingredients in the recipe made some of them appear superfluous.
5. The unnecessary details in the report were considered superfluous and were edited out.
6. He found the addition of the extra buttons on the shirt to be superfluous and opted for a simpler design.

History and etymology of superfluous

The adjective 'superfluous' finds its etymological origins in Latin. It emerges from the Latin word 'superfluous,' which combines 'super,' meaning 'above' or 'beyond,' and 'fluere,' meaning 'to flow.' This etymological composition eloquently captures the essence of 'superfluous' as something exceeding what is required or appropriate in a given context, akin to an overflow or excess. It conveys the notion of abundance beyond necessity, often implying a sense of redundancy or extravagance. The word 'superfluous' exemplifies how etymology can provide profound insight into the meaning and usage of a word, highlighting its historical connection to the idea of excess or surplus.

Quiz: Find the meaning of superfluous

Try Again!


Further usage examples of superfluous

1. The repetitive scenes in the movie felt superfluous and dragged down the overall quality.
2. The excessive amount of packaging on the product was seen as superfluous and wasteful.
3. The redundant explanations in the textbook made certain paragraphs seem superfluous.
4. The extra decorations on the already beautiful garden were seen as superfluous and overdone.
5. She trimmed the superfluous branches from the tree to improve its overall health.
6. The unnecessary use of fancy fonts and colors in the document was regarded as superfluous.
7. The addition of unnecessary adjectives in his writing made the sentences sound superfluous and verbose.
8. The excessive number of buttons on the remote control made some of them seem superfluous.
9. The redundant information in the presentation slides was considered superfluous and distracted the audience.
10. He found the constant interruptions during the meeting to be superfluous and disruptive.
11. The surplus of chairs in the room appeared superfluous and cluttered the space.
12. The inclusion of irrelevant anecdotes in his speech made it seem superfluous and off-topic.
13. The redundant safety measures in place made some of them seem superfluous and redundant.
14. She removed the unnecessary accessories from her outfit, deeming them superfluous and distracting.
15. The extra information was superfluous and not needed for the report.
16. The ornamentation on the building was superfluous and added nothing to its aesthetic.
17. The additional feature was superfluous and not requested by the customer.
18. The meeting was superfluous and could have been an email.
19. The extra steps in the process were superfluous and slowed everything down.
20. The additional expense was superfluous and not budgeted for.
21. The extra staff was superfluous and not needed for the event.
22. The extra words in the speech were superfluous and made it hard to follow.
23. The supplementary material was superfluous and not necessary for understanding the main text.
24. The additional feature in the software was superfluous and added little value.
25. The surplus inventory was superfluous and had to be sold off at a loss.



unnecessary, essential, required, indispensable


SAT 6 (Scholastic Assessment Test), Abundance and Excess, Distribution and Supplementary

bottom of page