I am trying to use a single word/simple sentence to explain a situation where adding/not adding a part to a device won't make any difference to its functionality.

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    You have received several answers but context is necessary to decide which is best. Please can you provide a sample sentence that has a blank where the word/phrase should appear. Preferably say what the device is and make the scenario plausible. Thanks. Aug 24, 2015 at 9:12
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    If it doesn't affect anything, it's irrelevant. Aug 24, 2015 at 11:54
  • As adjectives: pointless or more litterary supererogatory. As noun: futility (the quality of having no useful result; uselessness).
    – Graffito
    Aug 25, 2015 at 21:55

6 Answers 6



unnecessary, not providing additional benefit

  • Superfluous works for my context. Thanks for the answer !
    – youkay
    Aug 25, 2015 at 19:56

I think Youkay's suggestion "nugatory" is ok but it's a bit obscure - depends on your readership. It's also has a condemnatory tone, to me at least. "Redundant" perhaps?


irrelevant - adjective:

Not connected with or relevant to something.

[Source: Oxford Dictionaries online]

  • Welcome to the site, @UsmanKazi!
    – AAM111
    Jan 22, 2016 at 19:21
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    I added a citation and a link to the source of the definition you quote in your answer. At this site, it's an excellent practice to find reliable support for an answer (as you have done here), but it's also important to include citations (and if possible, links) to language taken from elsewhere; as the answerer, you are responsible for providing such documentation, going forward. Thanks!
    – Sven Yargs
    Jan 22, 2016 at 21:16


Of no significance




From the ODO:

Of no value or importance: ‘a nugatory and pointless observation’

Here's a software-related example:

The process of analyzing the impact of change requests can take so long and be so extensive that it has a destabilizing effect on the main team: they are only too aware that their current work may be rendered nugatory following the approval of the change requests.


Superfluous is good... unless you are adding a part to make something 'look better'. In that case your addition would be "purely aesthetic".

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