“Sure it was stylish, but seeing as he was already wearing a turtleneck sweater, a hat, a ski coat, and a vest, the Gucci scarf seemed rather superfluous.”
As used above, what is the best definition of superfluous?
Superfluous (adjective) – extra or unnecessary, particular when there is already “more than enough” present; adding nothing at all
Superfluity (noun) – excessiveness or abundance
GRE pro tips:
Knowing the roots of superfluous helps shed light on its meaning. The Latin root super means “over” or “beyond” and the Latin word “fleure” means “to flow.” It makes sense then that superfluous items make something (that is already ample) over-flow—so that it flows beyond the bounds of what is needed. For instance, superfluous details can make a story too convoluted and superfluous decorations can make a room too busy.
Specifically, an item is superfluous when including it imparts no meaningful value. For example, giving a coin collector a shiny new penny doesn’t add any value to his collection—it’s superfluous.
“These emerging technologies will soon render many everyday activities superfluous.”
“She was already wearing rings on every finger and bangles on both arms, so the addition of so-called “hair jewelry” seemed superfluous.”