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1. the use of more words than necessary or an instance of this, such as a tiny little child
2. a word or phrase that is superfluous



the use of words that are necessary neither for completeness of meaning nor, usually, for stylistic expressiveness. Although pleonasm is classified as a figure of speech, it is regarded as an extreme that borders on being a stylistic fault. The line between the two fluctuates and is determined by a period’s taste and its sense of proportion.

Pleonasm is common in conversational speech, where it and other figures of speech are forms of the natural redundancy of speech; an example of pleonasm is found in the sentence Svoimi glazami videi (“I saw it with my own eyes”). In folklore, pleonasm acquires stylistic expressiveness, as in put’-doroga (“path-road”), more-okean (“sea-ocean”), and grust’-toska (“sorrow-grief”). In literature, some styles have cultivated pleonasm, among these the embellished style of classical rhetoric. Other styles, including the “simple style,” avoid pleonasm.

A figura etimologica is an intensified form of pleonasm, in which words having the same roots are repeated, as in shutki shutit’ (“to joke”) and ogorod gorodit’ (“to make a fuss”). Sometimes an extreme form of pleonasm, in which the very same words are repeated, is called a tautology. In contemporary stylistic criticism, however, the concept of tautology is often identified with pleonasm.


Redundancy of expression; tautology.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Apart from being an important feature of the administrative style, "unintentional" pleonasms and their use might in some instances be attributed to the desire of the speaker (in our case the judge dictating the statement) to underline the importance of certain parts of the statement.
This leads to posing the question: What type of pleonasm are we dealing with in the case of DC in ME?
Clarity is better than opacity, unless obscurity is the whole point of the context,' he comments (under polysyllabic humour); confusion, ambiguity, pleonasm, and redundancy in expression accordingly come in for marked criticism.
This passage in fact rather supports the pleonasm of 8.
In this sense, the invitation is superfluous, and Catullus's hortatory subjunctive is transformed into a pleonasm.
Pleonasm especially refers to the coincident use of a word and its substitute for the same grammatical function and is similar in meaning to redundancy and tautology.
His book deserves to be read by all Western leftists interested in the fate of the Soviet Union, which should be a pleonasm.
Wordsworth is, however, clear-eyed in his reading of the lines discussing science: "'Truth's and Science' ray,' for the ray of Truth and Science, is not only extremely harsh, but a 'ray shone' is, if not absolutely a pleonasm, a great awkwardness; a 'ray fell' or 'shot' may be said, and a sun, or a moon, or a candle shone, but not a ray.
Pleonasm stalks the epic in many other forms as well.
How "Sorsareis" could differ from "Witchcraftis" is not clear; both words seem to refer to illicit magical practices broadly conceived, and this seems to be a case of pleonasm.
00--Rouse's masterful tome encompasses capacious domains but suffers from obscuration due to pleonasm and too many attempts to counter or unify the disparate views of too many other distinguished philosophers.
There is an enormous difference in mental travail between passing through the facile reversible chiasmus of pleonasm, virtual identity, or opposition and parsing the complex, conflicted, multiple relationships that chiasmus may demand.