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tautological (adj) using in a sentence two or more words having the same meaning [redundant].

A sentence or an expression is tautological if it contains two or more words having the same meaning. In the sentence "He was forced against his will to do it," the phrase 'forced against his will' is tautological, because forced itself means, 'against one's will.' Here therefore against his will is unnecessary repetition of an idea. "Visible to the eye," is another example of tautological expression. 'Visible' itself means seen.

  • "They stood up in turn, one by one" is a good example of tautological expression. 'In turn' is the same as one by one, and the use of both the expressions is an unnecessary repetition of an idea.
  • "The actual fact is," began the speaker, without remembering that it is a tautological expression, because facts are actual statements, and that the use of actual with facts is unnecessary.
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Last Modified : 11-May 2009
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