My question is: Can the word plethorically be used in situations in which it would describe characteristics or qualities one would apply to biotic entities (humans)?

Is it acceptable to use plethorically in the following fragment?

plethorically obnoxious

To add context I have constructed the following sentence:

My fellow classmates are plethorically obnoxious, as they loquaciously spew ludicrously nonsensical drivel.

I have found that if I were to base my conclusion to my question on the definition, it would seem it cannot be used in such a way. I have contemplated over it, however, and I say that it isn't unrealistic to say that it is fine to use plethorically in such a way. The way I mean that is this: plethorically means an excessive or overabundant amount of something; one can have excessive obnoxiousness - obnoxiousness is something someone can have (bear); therefore, it stands to reason that one can be plethorically obnoxious.

If it is grammatically incorrect to use plethorically in such a way, I must find a word to replace it. I'm thinking I could use eminently; however, I feel that plethorically simply has a particular feel to it that few others, if any, that can be used in such situations could satisfy. In the case that I cannot use plethorically, perhaps someone could suggest a situational alternative.

Thank you in advance.

  • 3
    It's not a word. It sounds stupid. Don't use it.
    – Fattie
    Apr 30, 2015 at 14:38
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    @JoeBlow, it is a word. "Plethorically" is the adverb form of "plethoric" which is the adjective form of the noun "plethora"; therefore, "plethorically" is, indeed, a word. Apr 30, 2015 at 15:15
  • 1
    Sorry dude. It's not a word. Don't use it. (Note - I believe you do not, fully, understand what "is and isn't" a word.)
    – Fattie
    Apr 30, 2015 at 15:21
  • 1
    Allow me to expand on that: Do not use it in any of the ways you are suggesting using it in the question.
    – Fattie
    Apr 30, 2015 at 15:22
  • 1
    @Joe Blow Most people would consider that it's a word if AHDEL lists it (which it does). Apr 30, 2015 at 22:22

3 Answers 3


Yes, it can.

First, "plethorically" absolutely is a word (Click the link and scroll down to "Related Forms").

Second, in my estimation, you've used it correctly.

To be fair, I did question whether it could be used with a noncount noun, but I see in the example given at the above link that "plethoric" is used to describe the noncount noun "speech," so it could likewise properly be used to describe the noncount noun "obnoxiousness." Ergo, as an adverb (i.e., "plethorically"), it follows that it could properly modify the adverbial form "obnoxious."

There is no restriction on the use of that word from terms that modify "biotic entities," human or otherwise.

ALL OF THAT SAID, I would steer clear of saying the following:

My fellow classmates are plethorically obnoxious, as they loquaciously spew ludicrously nonsensical drivel.

Why? Because it is plethorically loquacious and ludicrously obnoxious, never mind drivelingly redundant.

Setting aside the whole trying-way-too-hard aspect of it that makes it seem as though you drafted this by using a thesaurus to change every word you could to make yourself seem smarter than you are, what you're saying is tantamount to this:

My fellow classmates are overflowingly offensive, as they with overflowing chatter overflowingly spit crazily meaningless chatter that's meaningless spit.

Granted, if those who hear or read this are stupid, they may not catch it, but if anyone who isn't stupid hears or reads this, you may abruptly find yourself on the receiving end of a comeback that will make you look stupider than everybody for hypocritically and ignorantly—and so ironically—doing EXACTLY what you're accusing your fellow classmates of doing while you in saying so quite laughably operate under a pretense that you are somehow better, which you're not, of course, as evidenced by what you just said that does everything you accuse your fellow classmates of doing and worse, just with $5 words instead of 50¢ ones.

To be clear, I'm not saying this to ridicule you but am saying this to try and save you from ridicule.

  • How do you pronounce it? Where is the stress?
    – Mitch
    Mar 29, 2019 at 22:16
  • @Mitch - Per Oxford: /plɛˈθɒrɪkli//plɪˈθɒrɪkli/
    – Hot Licks
    Mar 29, 2019 at 22:37
  • Being American, I'd pronounce it with the stress on the second syllable. Using plain English phonetics and using caps to show stress, I'd pronounce it "pleh-THOR-rik-lee." Mar 30, 2019 at 0:54
  • Were I instead British, I'd pronounce it with the stress on the first syllable. Using plain English phonetics and using caps to show stress, I'd pronounce it "PLEH-thrik-lee." Mar 30, 2019 at 0:55
  • The following link shows these two variant pronunciations of "plethoric," which carries over into how "plethorically" is pronounced: dictionary.com/browse/plethoric Mar 30, 2019 at 0:57

First off, Plethorically isn't even a standard word.

See this ngram. It's not even listed as a word derivative in Oxford

So no, I wouldn't use it if I were you.

Now for using it with obnoxious:

"plethorically means an excessive or overabundant amount of something": No it doesn't. You're thinking of plethora. And maybe it's just me, but "a plethora of obnoxiousness" just sounds weird.

Word of advice: don't use too many big words. It's off-putting. Write to express, not to impress.

  • 1
    "Plethora" sounds weird. "Obnoxiousness" sounds weird. Of course they sound weird together!
    – Hot Licks
    Apr 30, 2015 at 12:17
  • I do not understand. Plethorically ought to be a standard word. Plethora and Plethoric are both standard words, according to Webster. Plethoric is simply the adjective form of Plethora. It stands to reason that Plethorically ought to be the standardized adverb form of Plethora. Apr 30, 2015 at 15:22
  • 2
    Hi Clayton. You're wasting time. Try the ESL site for basic guidance. There is absolutely no, whatsoever, "reason" in English. There's simply popular usage or not. If you want to ask about these issues, start a new question. This question will be closed, it's silly. "Use a dictionary"
    – Fattie
    Apr 30, 2015 at 15:24
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    @ClaytonGeist: Listen to yourself. "Large vernacular"? Doesn't even make sense. It's your attempts to promulgate big words that keep landing you in trouble. Talk like normal people. If you can't resist the urge, at least be sure to adhere to rules.
    – Tushar Raj
    Apr 30, 2015 at 15:28
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    @ClaytonGeist "I use large vernacular" I also employ a fairly expansive lexicon in my daily conversations, but I try not to ruin my communications by using them as contrived obfuscation vehicles. Apr 30, 2015 at 16:30

@ClaytonGeist Wow. The replies to this question are disappointing. Let’s take a chill pill and show a little gentleness. The superiority is so thick it’s hard to breath in here.

Clayton, “plethorically” assumes a measurable quantity of individual items that are not identical. This is a bit simplistic, but if you can’t count it, it can’t be plethoric.

For example, you can have a plethorically diverse array of flowers. That means that the flowers in your array are varied and many. But you can’t be plethoricly obnoxious, or plethorically in love, or plethorically tired, because those attributes are not made up of individual, measurable parts that have inherent variety.

However, you could say something like, “Within this group, I witnessed egotism, self-righteousness, and ridicule, among many other obnoxious displays of superiority. It was, quite frankly, a plethorically obnoxious group. I wish I hadn’t missed the opportunity to respond to this question in a more timely manner.”


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