AskDefine | Define plethora

Dictionary Definition

plethora n : extreme excess; "an embarrassment of riches" [syn: overplus, superfluity, embarrassment]

User Contributed Dictionary



Late plethora (earlier pletura) < (plēthōrē) "fullness", from (plēthō) "I fill".


  • /'plɛθərə/


  1. An excessive amount or number; an abundance (+ of).
    The menu offers a plethora of cuisines from around the world.
  2. In the context of "medicine|archaic": an excess of red blood cells or bodily humours


  • 1849 — Herman Melville, Redburn. His First Voyage
    I pushed my seat right up before the most insolent gazer, a short fat man, with a plethora of cravat round his neck, and fixing my gaze on his, gave him more gazes than he sent.
  • 1927 — H.P. Lovecraft, Supernatural Horror in Literature (The Aftermath of Gothic Fiction)
    Meanwhile other hands had not been idle, so that above the dreary plethora of trash like Marquis von Grosse's Horrid Mysteries..., there arose many memorable weird works both in English and German.


Related terms


excess, abundance



From (plēthōrē) "fullness", from (plēthō) "I fill".


plethora (genitive plethorae); , first declension
  1. (later Latin): plethora

Related terms

Extensive Definition

Hypervolemia (or "Fluid overload") is the medical condition where there is too much fluid in the blood.
This fluid, primarily salt and water, builds up in various locations in the body and leads to an increase in weight, swelling in the legs and arms (peripheral edema), and/or in the abdomen (ascites). Eventually, the fluid enters the air spaces in the lungs, reduces the amount of oxygen that can enter the blood, and causes shortness of breath (dyspnea). Fluid can also collect in the lungs when lying down at night and can make nighttime breathing and sleeping difficult (Paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea).
Fluid overload can be caused by many reasons, including problems with the heart, kidneys, lungs or a combination of any of these vital organs. Fluid overload can also be experienced after certain surgical operations. Congestive Heart Failure is the most common reason for fluid overload.
The opposite condition is Hypovolemia (too little fluid volume in the blood).

External links

plethora in German: Hypervolämie
plethora in Spanish: Hipervolemia
plethora in French: Hypervolémie
plethora in Lithuanian: Hipervolemija
plethora in Polish: Hiperwolemia

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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