From plethoric +‎ -ally (suffix forming adverbs from adjectives).[1] Plethoric is derived from Middle English plectorik (swollen, plethoric; a swelling, plethora) [and other forms],[2] from Late Latin plethoricus, plectoricus (plethoric), from Koine Greek πληθωρικός (plēthōrikós, plethoric), from Ancient Greek πληθώρα (plēthṓra, plethora) + -ικός (-ikós, suffix meaning ‘of or pertaining to, in the manner of’, forming adjectives from nouns);[3] πληθώρα (plēthṓra) is from πληθώρη (plēthṓrē, fullness; generation of blood or humors by the body) (from πλήθω (plḗthō, to be or become full, swell), from Proto-Indo-European *pleh₁- (to fill)) + -ᾱ () (variant of (, suffix forming action nouns from verbs)).



plethorically (comparative more plethorically, superlative most plethorically)

  1. In a plethoric manner: excessively, overabundantly. [from 1804]
    • 1804 October 13, Charles Lamb; Thomas Noon Talfourd, “Letters to Southey, Coleridge, Manning, and Wordsworth. [To Mr. [William] Wordsworth.]”, in The Letters of Charles Lamb, with a Sketch of His Life. [], volume I, London: Edward Moxon, [], published 1837, OCLC 278256286, page 170:
      But the truth is,—and why should I not confess it?—I am not plethorically abounding in cash at this present. Merit, Heaven knows, is very little rewarded; but it does not become me to speak of myself. My motto is, 'contented with little, yet wishing for more.'
      According to the Oxford English Dictionary, this is the earliest occurrence of the word in print. The date of the letter is supplied by the OED, based on a 1976 source.
    • 1832 July, [Thomas Carlyle], “Art. II.—1. Corn-Law Rhymes. Third Edition. 8vo. London: 1831. 2. Love; a Poem. By the Author of Corn-Law Rhymes. Third Edition. 8vo. London: 1831. 3. The Village Patriarch; a Poem. By the Author of Corn-Law Rhymes. 12mo. London: 1831. [book reviews]”, in The Edinburgh Review, or Critical Journal, volume LV, number CX, Edinburgh: [] Ballantyne and Company, for Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, Green, and Longman, []; and Adam Black, OCLC 950902861, page 342:
      Nevertheless, so pregnant is Life with evil as with good; to such height in an age rich, plethorically overgrown with means, can means be accumulated in the wrong place, and immeasurably aggravate wrong tendencies, instead of righting them, this sad and strange result may actually turn out to have been realized.
    • 1837, Thomas Carlyle, “Astræa Redux”, in The French Revolution: A History [], volume I (The Bastille), London: Chapman and Hall, OCLC 1026761782, book II (The Paper Age), page 29:
      For indeed it is of apoplexy, so to speak, and a plethoric lazy habit of body, that Churches, Kinships, Social Institutions, oftenest die. Sad, when such Institution plethorically says to itself, Take thy ease, thou hast goods laid up;—like the fool of the Gospel, to whom it was answered, Fool, this night thy life shall be required of thee!
    • 1861 February, George Augustus Sala, “The Seven Sons of Mammon. A Story.”, in George Augustus Sala, editor, Temple Bar: A London Magazine for Town and Country Readers, volume I, London: Office of Temple Bar, []; Ward and Lock, []; New York, N.Y.: Willmer and Rogers, published March 1861, OCLC 177729571, chapter VI (Resurgam), page 311:
      Old Chewke, the plethorically wealthy retired timber-merchant, formerly of Riga, went purposely two hours later to the Union Club that morning.
    • 1894, E[dith Anna] Œ[none] Somerville; Martin Ross [pseudonym; Violet Florence Martin], chapter V, in The Real Charlotte [], volume I, London: Ward and Downey [], OCLC 984468465, page 56:
      [T]he Maltese terrier was already snoring plethorically on his mistress's lap, in a manner quite disproportioned to his size, [...]
    • 1968, John Gassner, Glenn Loney, editor, Dramatic Soundings: Evaluations and Retractions Culled from 30 Years of Dramatic Criticism, New York, N.Y.: Crown Publishers, OCLC 750819269:
      I find Judith plethorically romantic and just as plethorically "sophisticated," qualities that often go together in France's two leading theatrical petits maitres, Giraudoux and Anouilh.

Related termsEdit



  1. ^ plethorically, adv.”, in OED Online  , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, September 2006; “plethorically, adv.”, in Lexico,; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
  2. ^ plectōrik, adj.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  3. ^ plethoric, adj. and n.”, in OED Online  , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, September 2006.