What is the Longest Word?

What is the longest word?

Have you ever wondered what the longest word in the English language is? Did you think back to childhood days and recall Mary Poppins describing supercalifragilisticexpialidocious as a word used when you have nothing else to say? Well, bear in mind that this 34-letter word isn’t officially recognized as being a true English word. So, where does that leave us?

What is the longest word in the dictionary?

The longest non-technical word found in the dictionary is Floccinaucinihilipilification. The term is used to describe something of worthless value. This is ironic because this 29 lettered word serves little purpose, except when used as an example of a long word. It certainly isn’t used in everyday English.

Coming in at just 28 letters, and one that most people would be able to pronounce is the word antidisestablishmentarianism. The term was originally used to describe opposition to the disestablishment of the Church of England. In modern times, the word is used in a more general sense and refers to opposing the withdrawal of government support from a particular church or religion.

The longest accepted technical word to appear in a Standard English dictionary is pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis. At 45 letters in length, this word is considered superfluous. It describes a medical condition of the lungs caused by the inhalation of fine silica dust. The term was coined by Everett M. Smith, president of the National Puzzlers’ League to capture the longest word in the English dictionary.

What is the longest word?

If you are looking for a truly long word, consider that it has 189,819 letters. It would take you more than three hours to pronounce correctly, that’s if you were able to pronounce it in its entirety without a mistake and did not have to start from the beginning again.

The abbreviation is Methionylthreonylthreonylglutaminylarginyl…isoleucine. Since this post has no intention of being the longest blog post ever, the full word will not be shown. If you’re truly interested in this word, you can watch it being pronounced on YouTube.

Good luck with trying to sit through the entire video or attempting to rattle it off to your friends since it takes over three hours to pronounce. It basically describes a type of protein which provides elasticity in muscles.

What is the longest place name?

The longest place name from an English speaking country is 85 letters in length. Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateapokaiwhenuakitanatahu is a Maori word for a particular hill in New Zealand.

What is the longest town name?

With just 58 letters, the Welsh town of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch is the longest name of a town or city in the world. It translates as St. Mary’s Church in the hollow of the white hazel near to the rapid whirlpool of Llantysilio of the red cave. The abbreviation Llanfair PG. is usually employed and the town was so named to be the longest place name in Britain.

What is the longest word with only vowels?

The longest word to contain only vowels is euouae. Although the word only comprises six letters, it has the distinction of holding two Guinness World Records. These are for being the longest word consisting exclusively of vowels, as well as being the word with the most consecutive vowels. Although this word is not commonly used, it refers to a musical term from the medieval times.

What is the longest word with only consonants?

The longest word to contain only consonants is tsktsk. This word is used fairly frequently in modern times. It means to express disapproval or disdain. For example, if a young child is thinking about doing something bad and looks at you before doing it, you could tsktsk.

What is the longest word with alternating vowels and consonants?

The longest word consisting of alternating consonants and vowels is honorificabilitudinitatibus. Yes, you can double check that if you want to. The word means “with honorableness” and is 27 letters in length. Do not attempt to pronounce this word while under the influence of alcohol.

What is the longest palindrome?

The longest palindrome, or word which is spelled the same forward and backward, is rotavator. A rotavator is a type of soil plow and the word is made up of 9 letters. You checked that too, didn’t you?

What is the longest word to use all 5 vowels only once and in alphabetical order?

The longest word to use all 5 vowels only once and in alphabetical order is abstentious. It refers to one who does not indulge in the excessive intake of food, alcohol or narcotics. You certainly checked that.

Conclusion

There are many other really long words. Many of these are very technical or are words used to describe chemical composition. For example, a DNA strand could run into several thousand letters. However, these technical terms often contain numerals or letters from the Greek alphabet. As such they are not considered to be true English words.

Although these words all contain a stupendous amount of letters, for those who still like childhood riddles, by far the longest word of all is smiles. Why is this? Because it has a MILE between the first and last letters, silly!

(Photo courtesy of John Earl)

15 comments

  1. Why the fascination with long words? There is a prejudice in the world against short words. What’s wrong with “a” and “I” — we should be proud of these words and heir brevity. It’s time to make a stand and stand up against the discrimination that short words face. Stand up against long words!

    1. While short words makes a point, he/she fails to take account the medium words face far more prejudice than both short words and long words. What’s wrong with a word that’s 4 to 8 letter long? They are used frequently, but nobody seems to give them the respect they deserve. Stand up for the true underdogs: medium words!

      1. A very long word indeed. But I must say it never crossed my mind to even think of a word like that and to pronounce it must be a nightmare.

    1. It all depends on your perspective. When someone asks “what is the longest word” there are a lot of implied restrictions that the person asking the question has. The answer will be different depending on those each person has when asking the question. This article gives a good overview on how different words might be considered the longest depending on what the person is actually asking.

  2. You would think that there wouldn’t be much controversy on what is the longest word in English. I think it’s interesting that what ends up being the longest word depends on what you define as a “word” It doesn’t surprise me that some people are just making words up so that they can claim that it is the longest word.

    I think I would limit what could be counted as the longest word to words found in the dictionary. If the word isn’t in the dictionary, then it shouldn’t be counted as the longest — or at the very least there should be an Asterix next to it. That’s just my two cents.

    1. But then the question becomes what dictionary? Every dictionary is different and has different words in it. I would prefer if it was limited to words that are still commonly used in everyday conversations.

  3. This blog post is so funny. I cannot believe that there is just a hill with such a long name. Were they drunk or something? Why would they do such a thing? Surely both that hill and that village just have shortened names that are used. I cannot imagine how long it would take to have a conversation about these places. So strange.

  4. Although this is entertaining I must say I cannot even pronounce the word and would never have thought that it even existed. I’m not sure if there is a point to this article other than entertainment. I think listing the longest words that people actually use would be much more helpful.

  5. It would be nice to have a list of the longest words that people use in everyday life. These are interesting, but who ever uses them? They aren’t really relevant to daily life and that is what most people want to know.

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