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

  • intransitive v. To do more than is required, ordered, or expected.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To engage in supererogation.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To do more than duty requires; to perform works of supererogation; to atone (for a dificiency in another) by means of a surplus action or quality.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To do more than duty requires; make up for some deficiency by extraordinary exertion.


Late Latin superērogāre, superērogāt-, to spend over and above : Latin super-, super- + Latin ērogāre, to spend (ē-, ex-, ex- + rogāre, to ask; see reg- in Indo-European roots).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)


  • Papists hold, or have any perfection in this life, much less supererogate: when we have all done, we are unprofitable servants.

    Anatomy of Melancholy

  • Moses, Elias, Daniel, Christ, and his [6455] apostles made use of it; but when by this means they will supererogate, and as [6456] Erasmus well taxeth, Coelum non sufficere putant suis meritis.

    Anatomy of Melancholy

  • I often observe in commutative; and keep a geometrical proportion in both, whereby becoming equable to others, I become unjust to myself, and supererogate in that common principle, “Do unto others as thou wouldst be done unto thyself.”

    Religio Medici

  • Nevertheless, it is veriform, that because Mammona doth not supergurgitate anything in my loculs, that I am somewhat rare and lent to supererogate the elemosynes to those egents that hostially queritate their stipe.

    Five books of the lives, heroic deeds and sayings of Gargantua and his son Pantagruel

  • We do, then, plainly supererogate as to the cause in hand, by the confutation of the answers which Mr Goodwin farther attempts to remove, and his endeavour therein; which yet shall not be declined.

    The Doctrine of the Saints��� Perseverance Explained and Confirmed

  • The method I should use in distributive Justice, [174] I often observe in commutative; [175] and keep a Geometrical proportion in both, whereby becoming equable to others, I become unjust to my self, and supererogate

    Religio Medici

  • They who in their obedience attain to the greatest height which is possible in this life, are so far from being able to supererogate and to do more than God requires, as [1493] that they fall short of much which in duty they are bound to do.

    The Creeds of the Evangelical Protestant Churches.

  • Make not one in the Historia horribilis; [158] stay not thy servant for a broken glass, [159] nor pound him in a mortar who offendeth thee; [160] supererogate not in the worst sense, and overdo not the necessities of evil; humour not the injustice of revenge.

    Christian Morals

  • But for all that, Horse Shoe, he wa'n't going to supererogate me, without getting as good as he sent.

    Horse-Shoe Robinson: A Tale of the Tory Ascendency.

  • Other words which have passed out of use include 'supererogate' which means to do or perform more than is required. - Telegraph online, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph


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