“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?

Check your answer!

Choice A - Extra or unnecessary
Choice B - Stylish and extravagant
Choice C - Itchy or uncomfortable
Choice D - Clashing in color


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.  

Example sentences:

“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.”