All Words > Otiose

Saturday, July 20

Otiose

[ō-shē-ˌōs]

Part of speech: adjective

1.

Having no real purpose

2.

Useless; pointless

Examples of Otiose in a sentence

"With the invention of the iPod, my CD collection has been rendered otiose."

"The shed was filled with otiose tools that should have been thrown away long ago."

About Otiose

One of literature's most otiose characters is Bartleby, from Herman Melville's "Bartleby the Scrivener." In this tale, Bartleby becomes so lazy that he won't leave his office and, eventually, won't even eat, resulting in his death.

Did you Know?

Otiose has had an interesting, serpentine evolution. Its Latin source otiosus meant "at leisure," but it first came to English meaning "useless or superfluous." Then, only recently, it began to regain some of its original Latin meaning relating to leisure.

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