from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- adj. Performed or observed beyond the required or expected degree.
- adj. Superfluous; unnecessary: "It was supererogatory for her to gloat” ( Mary McCarthy).
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- adj. Pertaining to supererogation; doing more than is required, especially with reference to good works in Roman Catholicism
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. Performed to an extent not enjoined, or not required, by duty or necessity.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Partaking of supererogation; performed to an extent not enjoined or not required by duty; unnecessary; superfluous.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- adj. more than is needed, desired, or required
It might be morally better to give the money to charity, but such contributions seem supererogatory, that is, above and beyond the call of duty.
Christian virtue was conceived, in much greater freedom from self-seeking, as the-simple fruit of faith; and the notion of supererogatory works became impossible in view of the decided recognition, that the life even of the most holy always falls short of moral perfection.
The evangelical tendency which during the time of the universal domination of the Romish church had never entirely disappeared, and which, especially since the appearance of the Waldenses, had been growing more positive in its opposition to the corrupted church, directed its efforts from the very first against the anti-scriptural and arbitrary ordinances of said church, especially against the work-holiness of monastic morality, in order to vindicate the moral freedom of the Christian personality, and also against the sophistical laxity of the more recent period; this tendency insists above all upon faith-born love as the source and essence of all true morality, and rejects the notion of supererogatory merit as arising from the observance of the so-called evangelical counsels. —
I typed it in to the computer and swiftly learned – I can see you smiling up your sleeve – that it is really “supererogatory”.
This was supererogatory, for the tracks told their own tale too well.
Carrying a pregnancy to term and enduring the violent crisis of childbirth is a supererogatory act of grace on the part of a woman, not an obligation.
Although adoption is arguably an unnatural arrangement, it is nonetheless widely agreed to be a laudatory, if not supererogatory, service to society.
Most of those people are utilitarians of one kind or another, so they do not recognize the existence of supererogatory actions.
Okay, so most of those people don't know what supererogatory means, but they are committed to a belief system that denies the existence of supererogatory actions.
The conceptual question of what we mean by supererogation and the substantive question of whether there actually are supererogatory acts (and how their normative value can be justified) are inextricably interrelated.