I subscribed to a word-of-the-day thing about 10 years ago. One of the words was a noun for the instance of describing something redundantly. Every now and then I hear someone do this and die not being able to remember the word for it. As luck would have it, I can't muster an example I feel very confident about but perhaps "it was too overdone" where "it was overdone" would suffice would suffice as an example...

  • My ears will explode if I hear one more _____ out of this non-EL&U-subscribing scrub.

2 Answers 2


As confirmed by the OP in a comment (hat tip to @Silenus), the word being sought is pleonasm. From Wiktionary:

pleonasm ‎(countable and uncountable, plural pleonasms)

  1. (uncountable, rhetoric) Redundancy in wording.

  2. (countable) A phrase involving pleonasm, that is, a phrase in which one or more words are redundant as their meaning is expressed elsewhere in the phrase.

    "The two of them are both the same" is a pleonasm (as the word "both" is redundant), as is "killed dead".


A Tautology

A tautology, or ‘tautology’, is using redundant words, or saying the same thing twice, or repeating the same idea in many words.

Tautological is a word you can use to describe phrases that are unnecessarily verbose in that way.


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