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Plethora

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  • plethora is an overabundance. The excess here is key; in traditional usage of the word, a plethora is too much of something. Today, however, the word is often used as a synonym of plenty or many, which imply abundance but not necessarily overabundance.

    Examples

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    But decision science has shown that people faced with a plethora of choices are apt to make no decision at all. [Daily Beast]

    The plethora of mixed motives for the west’s engagement with the Arab world make doing the right thing harder in the Middle East and North Africa. [The Guardian]

    I spent a few hours Monday on the ministry’s website, and was nearly driven mad by the plethora of acronyms. [Globe and Mail]

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    Comments

    1. Rashminijhawan98 says:

      Yes. For eg. plethora of conspiracy theories, not plethora of ideas.

    2. Dean Masini says:

      It appears that plethora is always followed by “of”. I believe this clarifies my question about the usage of the word. I wasn’t sure if “of” could be omitted, i.e. which example below is correct or are both correct?

      1) “I felt overwhelmed during my car buying experience by the the plethora of performance claims and specifications communicated to me.”,
      vs.
      2) “I felt overwhelmed during my car buying experience by the the plethora performance claims and specifications communicated to me.”

    3. CheekyWench says:

      Hey Pancho…. would you say I have a plethora of piñatas?

    4. J. C. Smith says:

      This page appears wasted without a reference to the birthday party scene in “The Three Amigos.”

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