Meaning of tautology in English:


Pronunciation /tɔːˈtɒlədʒi/

See synonyms for tautology

Translate tautology into Spanish


mass noun
  • 1The saying of the same thing twice over in different words, generally considered to be a fault of style (e.g. they arrived one after the other in succession)

    ‘there was also a lot of tautology: there's no need to say ‘return back to’’
    • ‘It is conceivable that the key to truth lies in tautology and redundancy.’
    • ‘Redundancy and tautology are undesirable, and a sign of less than careful writing.’
    • ‘But really, spinning out some kind of clever model to illustrate that idea is unnecessary tautology: I can say it in just a few simple words.’
    • ‘Julian concurred that evenings set aside for communication with ‘dead angels’ (I'm sure there's some tautology in there) were right up his street and he couldn't believe he'd missed it.’
    • ‘The footpath outside the front of our house is flanked on both sides (is that tautology?) with low bushes.’
    repetition, repetitiveness, repetitiousness, reiteration, redundancy, superfluity, periphrasis, iteration, duplication
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1count noun A phrase or expression in which the same thing is said twice in different words.
      ‘all of the ‘evidence’ in support of these claims boils down to tautologies and circular reasoning’
      • ‘But then, Coward himself was less refined than he thought: ‘The general consensus of opinion,’ he has Hugo say, two tautologies in a mere five words.’
      • ‘I'm not saying he is a sloppy reviewer, because the phrase ‘sloppy reviewer’ is a tautology when it comes to the press.’
      • ‘Incidentally, white jasmine is a tautology in the Indian context.’
      • ‘Note the tautology in the first sentence, the feeble attempt at punnery.’
    2. 1.2Logic A statement that is true by necessity or by virtue of its logical form.
      ‘all logical propositions are reducible to either tautologies or contradictions’
      • ‘The past, in effect, is a tautology; it is true by virtue of its logical form alone.’
      • ‘It doesn't affect the validity of the statement, so you can include it without destroying your tautology.’
      • ‘Some authors treated the quantity theory as a matter of causal relation and explanation, often differing as to the content and direction of explanation, whereas others saw it as a truism, identity or tautology.’
      • ‘Tautologies are statements true by definition and so are quite incapable of empirical refutation or prediction (insofar as a prediction in science must be empirically falsifiable).’
      • ‘This coinage has often provoked the accusation that nothing is really being asserted in the argument for natural selection: since fitness can only be defined by survival the phrase is a tautology.’


Mid 16th century via late Latin from Greek, from tautologos ‘repeating what has been said’, from tauto- ‘same’ + -logos (see -logy).