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 (so͞o′pər-ĭ-rŏg′ə-tôr′ē) also su·per·e·rog·a·tive (-tĭv)
1. Performed or observed beyond the required or expected degree.
2. Superfluous; unnecessary: "It was supererogatory for her to gloat" (Mary McCarthy).
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(ˌsuːpərɛˈrɒɡətərɪ; -trɪ) ,




1. performed to an extent exceeding that required or expected
2. exceeding what is needed; superfluous
3. (Roman Catholic Church) RC Church of, characterizing, or relating to prayers, good works, etc, performed over and above those prescribed as obligatory
[C16: from Medieval Latin superērogātōrius; see supererogate]
ˌsupereˈrogatorily adv
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˌsu pər əˈrɒg əˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i)

1. going beyond the requirements of duty.
2. greater than that required or needed; superfluous.
su`per•e•rog′a•to`ri•ly, adv.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.supererogatory - more than is needed, desired, or required; "trying to lose excess weight"; "found some extra change lying on the dresser"; "yet another book on heraldry might be thought redundant"; "skills made redundant by technological advance"; "sleeping in the spare room"; "supernumerary ornamentation"; "it was supererogatory of her to gloat"; "delete superfluous (or unnecessary) words"; "extra ribs as well as other supernumerary internal parts"; "surplus cheese distributed to the needy"
unnecessary, unneeded - not necessary
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


1. Being more than is needed, desired, or appropriate:
2. Not required, necessary, or warranted by the circumstances of the case:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
If the history of that time, and especially that of the year in the middle of which our narrative commences, were not indissolubly connected with the two names just mentioned, the few explanatory pages which we are about to add might appear quite supererogatory; but we will, from the very first, apprise the reader -- our old friend, to whom we are wont on the first page to promise amusement, and with whom we always try to keep our word as well as is in our power -- that this explanation is as indispensable to the right understanding of our story as to that of the great event itself on which it is based.
Without assuming the supererogatory task of entering into a discussion of the comparative merits of national courtesy, Duncan cheerfully assented to supply the place of the veteran in the approaching interview.
Our countesses, moreover, were adored by their husbands; these gentlemen were enslaved by the charm possessed by every woman who loves; and, with even supererogatory simplicity, afforded us that just sufficient spice of danger which increases pleasure.
such a deed would be an act of supererogatory cruelty."
Ginzburg's gestures at this crucial juncture are, if not imperceptible, minute: the repetition of "against the wall,' the whining, chaotic parataxis and then, in the final sentence of the passage, a characteristic move--the simple, if supererogatory, naming of proper names, Cenzo Rena and Franz, a gesture at once rhetorically chaste and extraordinarily intimate.
The highest pinnacle of virtue is often exhibited in supererogatory actions.
It has been argued both by Marcia Baron (1987) and Susan Hale (1991) that our ethical theory can and should do without the concept of supererogatory acts, and that most of the work that this concept was supposed to accomplish can be done - and done better - using the concept of imperfect duties.
Without attempting to be exhaustive, or even systematic, we can distinguish three kinds of supererogatory act, each of which could form the basis of a way of life.
Moral philosophy also avails itself of the supererogatory, those burdens we undertake beyond the call of formal obligation.
It is neither here nor there that the sacrificer should himself be fulfilled through this supererogatory act.
While denying that God has moral obligations, William Alston defends divine moral goodness based on God's performance of supererogatory acts.
(95) The distinctively Christian character of the privilege of the poor rests, then, in its ultimate, theocentric grounding in agape, the illumination of the context of "acting justly," and the formal, existential imperatives which, though ethically (universally) supererogatory, may be perceived as love's demand.