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  • Adj.




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: If you have superfluous words in your essay, what do you have?

  • You have words that make no sense.
  • You have a number of high-level words.
  • You have more words than you need.

Memory Hook

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.


  • Eliminate something superfluous from your life. Break a habit. Do something that makes you feel insecure. — Piero Ferrucci, Italian psychotherapist and philosopher Piero ferrucci, italian psychotherapist and philosopher
  • 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
  • "The 10 years I spent with Skidmore taught me discipline," he says. "What was really exciting was that in the last couple of years I was there the firm began to discard and pare down. Lots of superfluous detail disappeared from their plans, frills were gone and they began to cut through to the design essentials." —Sports Illustrated

Word Ingredients

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

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

Word Theater

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

Word Constellation