1. In an unnecessary way; not by necessity.
    Synonyms: needlessly, pointlessly, uselessly, for no reason
    He unnecessarily repeated much of what others had covered.
    • circa 1611 William Shakespeare, The Tempest, Act II, Scene 1,
      There be […] lords that can prate
      As amply and unnecessarily
      As this Gonzalo;
    • 1753, Samuel Richardson, The History of Sir Charles Grandison, London, Volume 1, Letter 33, p. 235,
      Pray let not any-body unnecessarily be acquainted with this shocking affair;
    • 1866, Elizabeth Gaskell, Wives and Daughters, London: Smith, Elder, Volume 1, Chapter 10, pp. 113-114,
      “Wait a moment,” said he, quite unnecessarily, for she could not have stirred;
    • 1950, C. S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, New York: Macmillan, Chapter 17,
      […] they made good laws and kept the peace and saved good trees from being unnecessarily cut down,
  2. To an extent beyond what is needed.
    Synonyms: unduly
    The food provided was unnecessarily generous, especially for an event meant to raise money for the hungry.
    • 1776, Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, London: W. Strahan and T. Cadell, Volume 2, Book 5, Part 1, pp. 307-308,
      In the days of their [the Roman armies’] grandeur, when no enemy appeared capable of opposing them, their heavy armour was laid aside as unnecessarily burdensome, their laborious exercises were neglected as unnecessarily toilsome.
    • 1814, Jane Austen, Mansfield Park, London: T. Egerton, Volume 1, Chapter 11, p. 245,
      His absence was unnecessarily long.
    • 2007, Alan Bennett, The Uncommon Reader, New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008, p. 28,
      […] it seemed that she used his name unnecessarily often,
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