I wonder why the verb "create" is often followed by the word "new". Does "create" not imply "new"? When I read (in programming languages, for example) "create a new object", should I read it as "create an object" with exactly the same meaning? Is the word "new" not superfluous?

  • I think this is a interesting question. Google brought me to tautologies.xyz/home which uses both variants ! “create a new tautology […] an infinite number of tautologies to be created”. I am not sure if “create new” is tautological or pleonastic but it is certainly idiomatic. Maybe because it’s a keyword in some computer languages.
    – k1eran
    Aug 18, 2022 at 0:02
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    Suppose it were redundant: then what? New creations abound in literature, and in life. Remember that redundancy in clear communication is a feature, not a bug.
    – tchrist
    Aug 18, 2022 at 0:16
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    Just my opinion here, but for what it's worth, not every pleonasm is a bridge too far. Sometimes redundancy is used for emphasis. Sometimes it is used so that even casual readers will not escape the meaning of the information. Every product on the store shelves trumpets that it is "New and improved!" So which is it? New or improved, but not both, right? Yet lots of money goes into making sure that both sides of that pleonasm are hammered home.
    – Robusto
    Aug 18, 2022 at 0:16
  • I find myself wondering whether it is a corruption or at least a contraction of "create anew". Aug 18, 2022 at 15:43
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    This question can extend to other verbs. Is "new" redundant in "add a new entry into your diary"? When do you add an entry into your diary that is not new?
    – Kaz
    Aug 19, 2022 at 17:17

3 Answers 3


Create a new something is not always redundant. Even if it is slightly, it definitely connects the new created thing with what existed before it.

For example, if you read:

I am asked to create a gmail account

it is probably your first. But if you say:

I am asked to create a new gmail account

you probably already have at least one.

New, in combination with create thus may point to the fact that the product of creation is indeed new, but not the first one. So new bears the connotation of another. Among the definitions of new, some say

Additional or recently discovered (WHippo)
fresh; additional (Collins)

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    I see that the usage of "create" is context-sensitive and with the definition of an "additional" thing, the "create new" makes sense. Even if in the example of the gmail account, you should "create a gmail account" even if you had one. And also, yoou could use "create another account", making clear that you have already an account. Thanks Aug 18, 2022 at 9:14
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    @LinkerStorm If the directions said "create a gmail account", you might ask "Do I need to do that if I already have one?". But if it says "create a new gmail account", it suggests that you shouldn't use an existing one.
    – Barmar
    Aug 18, 2022 at 13:51
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    A minor quibble: "create a new gmail account" doesn't, to me, suggest that the reader would probably already have one - it doesn't suggest one way or the other, really (nor does "create a gmail account" imply that it's the reader's first). But: "create a new" does mean that a reader who already happens to have a gmail account should not use that account for the purposes of the instructions; simply "create a gmail account" is ambiguous in that case.
    – minnmass
    Aug 18, 2022 at 15:58
  • Yes - Create [a] new [object] strongly implies that such objects have been and/or will be routinely created in other contexts. That's why we wouldn't expect God created a new Adam and Eve. (It rather begs the question What was wrong with the old Adam and Eve?). Aug 18, 2022 at 16:43

It is pretty much idiomatic and the usage goes far back, as early as 1540 per the earliest citation in OED where it was used as create a new (something). OED lists the sense of the verb create for this usage and the citation as below:

transitive. To make, form, set up, or bring into existence (something which has not existed before); to produce (a work of imagination or invention; an artefact).
In early use frequently: to bring into legal or official existence.

Here had bene created a new tenure betwene the feffoure and the feffee.
1540 R. Taverner Princ. Lawes Customes & Estatutes Eng. f. 55

Note: There is only one earlier citation for this sense from a1475 which is the earliest.

Even Shakespeare penned it, in a peculiar way, in The Comedy of Errors in a1616:

Are you a god? would you create me new?

This usage is within the earliest sense of the verb create: 'of a divine being or natural agency to bring into being, cause to exist', with object complement.

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    Thank you for that answer on the story of the expression. It was very enlightening :) Aug 18, 2022 at 9:18
  • It's idiomatic, for sure; but is the idiom verbose?
    – Kaz
    Aug 19, 2022 at 16:48

So, when I read in programming languages for example, "create a new object", should I read "create an object" with exactly the same meaning ?

No. You should read "create an object that is not the same as those objects previously created, i.e. do not recreate an earlier object."

  • Yes but in different contexts where I read these expression "create new" (in programming language tutorials mainly), there were NO other previous or earlier objects created, that is the first one that is created at the beginning of the tutorial... Aug 18, 2022 at 18:29
  • For example, in this Microsoft tuto, in the "Create your local project" section, you read "When prompted, choose Create new project." Maybe you had previous projects, maybe not, but it seems this is the first that you create here in the context of the tuto.... Aug 18, 2022 at 18:37

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