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Definition of "supererogatory" [su•per•e•rog•a•to•ry]

  • Performed or observed beyond the required or expected degree. (adjective)
  • Superfluous; unnecessary: "It was supererogatory for her to gloat” ( Mary McCarthy). (adjective)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "supererogatory" in a sentence
  • "It might be morally better to give the money to charity, but such contributions seem supererogatory, that is, above and beyond the call of duty."
  • "Christian virtue was conceived, in much greater freedom from self-seeking, as the-simple fruit of faith; and the notion of supererogatory works became impossible in view of the decided recognition, that the life even of the most holy always falls short of moral perfection."
  • "The evangelical tendency which during the time of the universal domination of the Romish church had never entirely disappeared, and which, especially since the appearance of the Waldenses, had been growing more positive in its opposition to the corrupted church, directed its efforts from the very first against the anti-scriptural and arbitrary ordinances of said church, especially against the work-holiness of monastic morality, in order to vindicate the moral freedom of the Christian personality, and also against the sophistical laxity of the more recent period; this tendency insists above all upon faith-born love as the source and essence of all true morality, and rejects the notion of supererogatory merit as arising from the observance of the so-called evangelical counsels. —"
Words like "supererogatory"