What is the difference between these two words? They seem to mean the same thing.


A pleonasm relates to a specific word or phrase where there is redundancy (a "true fact"), whereas a tautology relates more to a logical argument or assertion being made, where it is self-evidently true (or unable to be falsified by logic), such as "I was definitely the oldest person at the meeting because everyone there was born later than me.", or "For the purpose of paying fees, the year is divided into four quarterly payments.".

| improve this answer | |
  • A good answer is expected to have supporting references, linked and attributed; answers lacking references come over as, and may merely be, opinion (with no guarantee of being correct or comprehensive). // I don't think there is a consensus that these are the only definitions in use. – Edwin Ashworth May 13 at 18:37

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.