from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Excessive in quantity; superabundant: "this successful industry of England, with its plethoric wealth” ( Thomas Carlyle).
  • adj. Excessive in style; turgid: plethoric prose.
  • adj. Characterized by an overabundance of blood.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. overabundant or rife
  • adj. excessive
  • adj. ruddy in complexion
  • adj. Containing excessive blood

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Haeving a full habit of body; characterized by plethora or excess of blood; ; -- used also metaphorically.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Having a full habit of body, or the vessels overcharged with fluids; characterized by plethora, in any sense.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. excessively abundant


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Anthony Powell's "A Dance to the Music of Time" can be accurately described as plethoric Proust.

    Not Your Mom's Book Club

  • But the drug is contraindicated in cases associated with cerebral hyperaemia, in atheromatous conditions of the arteries, and in the so-called plethoric state -- _Beta's

    Scientific American Supplement, No. 299, September 24, 1881

  • In what is called a plethoric state, or too great fulness of the body, it is likewise dangerous to use the cold bath without due preparation.

    The Book of Sports: Containing Out-door Sports, Amusements and Recreations, Including Gymnastics, Gardening & Carpentering

  • He stood up, shook my hand, and emptied his plethoric vest pocket.

    Local Color

  • Concerning further details deponent sayeth not, though he may hint that some of his plethoric national patriotism simmered down and leaked out of the bottom of his soul somewhere -- at least, since that experience he finds that he cares more for men and women and little children than for imaginary geographical lines.


  • And I did these things, not that I was an egotist, not that I was impervious to the critical glances of my fellows, but because of a certain hogskin belt, plethoric and sweat-bewrinkled, which buckled next the skin above the hips.

    The Dignity of Dollars

  • The sweat of months was upon it, toil had defaced it, and it was not a creation such as would appeal to the aesthetic mind; but it was plethoric.

    The Dignity of Dollars

  • His leathern breeches were faultless in make, his jockey boots spotless in the varnish, and a handsome and flourishing pair of boot-garters, as they are called, united the one part of his garments to the other; in fine, a richly-laced scarlet waistcoat and a purple coat set off the neat though corpulent figure of the little man, and threw an additional bloom upon his plethoric aspect.


  • Or again, in a plethoric condition of the corn and wine market these fruits of the soil will be so depreciated in value that the particular husbandries cease to be remunerative, and many a farmer will give up his tillage of the soil and betake himself to the business of a merchant, or of a shopkeeper, to banking or money-lending.

    Ways and Means

  • The Major, for his part, was in a state of plethoric satisfaction that knew no bounds: and he coughed, and choked, and chuckled, and gasped, and swelled, until the waiters seemed positively afraid of him.

    Dombey and Son

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  • Like a plethoric burning martyr, or a self-consuming misanthrope, once ignited, the whale supplies his own fuel and burns by his own body.

    - Melville, Moby-Dick, ch. 95

    July 29, 2008

  • Van remembered that Mr. Alexander Screepatch, the new president of the United Americas, a plethoric Russian, had flown over to see King victor; and he correctly concluded that both were now sunk in mollitude.

    - Nabokov, Ada, or Ardor

    June 5, 2008

  • "...he did not like either the look or the feel of his patient's belly, and since Fox was somewhat plethoric he decided to bleed and purge him."
    --Patrick O'Brian, The Thirteen Gun Salute, 165

    March 4, 2008

  • from Trollope

    October 1, 2007