superfluous

When something is so unnecessary that it could easily be done away with, like a fifth wheel on a car or a fifth person on a double date, call it superfluous.

Superfluous (soo-PER-floo-uhs) means "more than required." Use it when pointing out something that could be removed without detracting from the quality of something: "For a climb over a glacier, the very thickest shoes are absolutely necessary; beyond these, all else seems superfluous to me," wrote the adventurer Charles Stoddard in 1899. The word comes from Latin and literally means "overflowing": super ("over") + fluere ("to flow"). So you can think of a superfluous addition as flowing over the boundaries of what's needed.

Definitions of superfluous
  1. adjective
    more than is needed, desired, or required
    “delete superfluous (or unnecessary) words”
    synonyms: excess, extra, redundant, spare, supererogatory, supernumerary, surplus
    unnecessary, unneeded
    not necessary
  2. adjective
    serving no useful purpose; having no excuse for being
    synonyms: otiose, pointless, purposeless, senseless, wasted
    worthless
    lacking in usefulness or value
Word Family
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