In English usage, redundancy is usually defined as the use of two or more words that say the same thing, but we also use the term to refer to any expression in which a modifier’s meaning is contained in the word it modifies (e.g., early beginnings, merge together—many more are listed below). Think of redundancies as word overflows.
This list is far from complete, and we’re developing it organically (i.e., adding redundancies as they come up in our work) rather than compiling the list by stealing from other online sources, which would be too easy. If you feel strongly that any redundancy should be added here, please comment.
Added bonus: A bonus is by definition something added.
Adequate enough: One or the other will work.
Arm’s reach: reach or arm’s length.
Blatantly obvious: Things that are blatant are obvious.
[Adjective]-born: e.g., Brazilian-born, Texan-born. Make it Brazil-born or Texas-born (or Brazilian or Texan).
Browse through: To browse is to look through something, so through is already contained in its meaning.
But yet: As conjunctions (but not as adverbs), but and yet are synonyms.
Close proximity: To be in proximity to something is to be close to it. Try close to or in proximity to instead.
Comingle, co-mingle: The verb mingle means to mix or bring together in combination.
Combine together: To combine is to bring multiple things together.
Continue on: If you two words, try go on.
Critical juncture: A juncture is a moment made critical by a concurrence of circumstances.
Current status quo: The status quo is the current state of affairs.
Each and every: Each and every are synonyms.
Enter into: Try go into, or just enter.
Equally as: Try one or the other.
Excess(ive) verbiage: Verbiage is an excess of words.
False pretense and false pretenses: Pretenses are by definition false.
Far distance: Exception: when contrasting a far distance with a near distance.
Favorably disposed: To be disposed is to have a favorable inclination to something.
Fellow classmates: Try fellow students.
Few in number: Few always pertains to number.
Final destination: Exception: in reference to journeys, especially airline flights, that have multiple destinations.
First and foremost
First dibs: When you have dibs on something, you have the primary claim to it.
First discovered: Generally, something can only be discovered once, but there are exceptions—for example, “I first discovered bananas in 1979, then forget about them, and then discovered them again in 2009.” Alternatives: First saw, first encountered, first observed.
Free gift: If it’s not free, it’s not a gift.
Future plans: All plans pertain to the future.
General consensus (of opinion): A consensus is an opinion generally held by a group.
Historic milestone: A milestone is by definition historic.
In the negative: no.
In the process of: The meaning of this phrase is usually conveyed by the surrounding verbs. For example, we are in the process of moving could be just we are moving.
Interact with each other
Join together: Things that join can only do so together.
Joint cooperation: If it’s not done jointly, it’s not cooperation.
Just exactly: Exactly means precisely or in all respects, and one definition of just is precisely.
Manually by hand: Manually means by hand.
Mental attitude: Can an attitude be anything but mental?
Moment in time: A moment is a short, indefinite period of time.
Most quintessential: Quintessential contains most in its definition—i.e., the most typical of a quality or state.
Old adage: The definition of adage is a traditional (i.e., old) saying that is accepted as true.
Opening gambit: but only when gambit is used in its traditional sense.
Orbit around: Orbit means to go around (something).
Outward appearances: Appearances are by definition outward.
Overexaggerate: Excess is contained in the meaning of exaggerate, but overexaggerate works where exaggeration is expected, such as in some types of acting.
Past experience: All experience is in the past.
Pervade throughout: The verb pervade means to be present throughout.
Plan in advance
Pre-plan: Exception: where pre-plan means prior to planning.
Prior experience: All experience is prior (though people seem to love using this phrase in job listings).
Proceed forward: To proceed is to move forward.
Proof positive: Proof is usually sufficient.
Rate of speed: Rate or speed is usually sufficient.
Reason is because: Reason is contained in the definition of because, and while the phrase reason is because is common, sticklers for this sort of thing say either the reason is that or it is because.
Repay back: Go with either pay back or repay.
Repeat again: This is redundant when something is repeated for the first time.
Reserve ahead of time
Return back: Try go back or just return.
Revert back: either go back or just revert.
Sequential order: in order or in sequence.
Slight edge: One definition of edge is a slight advantage or superiority, so the modifier is unnecessary.
Software programs: All computer programs are software.
Steady stream: Streams are by definition steady.
Sum total: These words are synonyms.
Sworn affidavit: An affidavit is a formal statement of fact made under oath before a notary public or other authorized officer.
Up until: Go with up to or just until.
Uphill climb: When climb isn’t emphatic enough, try uphill battle.
Various different: These words are synonyms.
Well respected: If you want to use the word well, try well regarded or well thought of.
Whether or not: Or not is often contained in the meaning of whether, but whether or not is not redundant when or not is a necessary alternative to the positive option (e.g., “I’m going whether you go or not.”)
While at the same time
Whole entire: These words are synonyms.