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Pleonasm Definition & examples

It is a figure in which some unnecessary additional words are used in the same sentence. It is also known as Redundancy. Pleonasm, according to Smith ' consists in the use of words in a sentence that are not strictly necessary to express the meaning '.  

Like tautology, pleonasm is also notable for wastage of words, and it consists in the use of more words in a sentence than are needed to express the meaning. Here superfluous words, not synonyms, are used in different places, not side by side, of the same sentence. It may be noted that the superfluous words do not add anything to the sense already expressed. Thus, in the example 'I saw it with my own eyes ' the expression ' with my own eyes ' is superfluous for the idea might have been well expressed in ' I saw it '. It may be noted that 'saw' and 'with my own eyes ' are not synonymous words and they are placed in different places (i.e., made separate by the use of the world 'it') of the same sentence. 

Examples: 

(a) This was the most unkindest cut of all (Shakespeare)

(b) I eyed him with a look of contempt. 

(c) I shall not prejudge the verdict in advance.

Pleonasm Definition & Literature




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