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Tau*tol"o*gy (?), n. [L. tautologia, Gr. : cf. F. tautologie.] Rhet.

A repetition of the same meaning in different words; needless repetition of an idea in different words or phrases; a representation of anything as the cause, condition, or consequence of itself, as in the following lines: --

The dawn is overcast, the morning lowers, And heavily in clouds brings on the day. Addison.

Syn. -- Repetition. -- Tautology, Repetition. There may be frequent repetitions (as in legal instruments) which are warranted either by necessity or convenience; but tautology is always a fault, being a sameness of expression which adds nothing to the sense or the sound.


© Webster 1913.