The 10 Longest Words in the English Language (How Many of Them Do You Know?)

Featured

Written by:

It’s somewhat comforting to realize that, at one point in our existence, we had so much time on our hands that someone said, “Hey, you know what the world needs? Longer words.” Like 189,819 letters long. Yes, the longest (unofficial) word in the English language is exactly that long.

“Methionylthreonylthreonylglutaminylarginyl… isoleucine” is the name of a protein, and it will take you around three hours to pronounce it — just about the time when you’ll grow a beard or be declared clinically dead from being out of breath.

Given our current pace of life, where even “OK” gets trimmed down to a mere “K,” words beyond two syllables start to feel like a waste of time, don’t they? To illustrate this, here are some of the longest official words in the English language. Just a warning: You might forget who you are and what you were doing halfway through pronouncing them.

Image Credit: MediaFeed / DALL·E 3.

10. Sesquipedalianism – 17 Letters

You might say that the writer in this article suffers from sesquipedalianism, a tendency to use long words. It comes from the Latin “sesquipedalis,” meaning “a foot and a half long,” metaphorically indicating words that are unnecessarily long and complex.

Image Credit: MediaFeed / Viktor Morozuk / iStock.

9. Incomprehensibility – 19 Letters

Incomprehensibility is a 19-letter word that refers to the quality of being impossible to understand or comprehend. It applies to texts, speech, concepts, or very long words.

Image Credit: MediaFeed/Viktor Morozuk/iStock.

8. Honorificabilitudinitatibus – 27 Letters

Comprising 27 letters, “honorificabilitudinitatibus” originates from medieval Latin and translates to “the state of being able to achieve honors.” This mouthful’s most famous mention was in William Shakespeare’s “Love’s Labour’s Lost,” where the character Costard uses this juggernaut of a word to poke fun at overly fancy language. 

Image Credit: MediaFeed / Viktor Morozuk/ iStock.

7. Antidisestablishmentarianism – 28 Letters

This tongue-twister, with a whopping 28 letters, first appeared in 19th-century Britain, and it describes opposing the idea of removing the Church of England from its cozy spot as the state church. Today, it may also refer to any opposition to withdrawing government support from a particular church or religion.

Image Credit: MediaFeed / Viktor Morozuk / iStock.

6. Floccinaucinihilipilification – 29 Letters

If you, too, think that long words are pretty much pointless, then ‘floccinaucinihilipilification’ has got your back. It’s a 29-letter long word to describe just how useless long words are. And it’s used only for that. Isn’t life wonderful?

Its origin is quite scholarly. In the 18th century, students at Eton College in England crafted it as a concatenation of four Latin words: “flocci,” “nauci,” “nihili,” and “pili,” all of which individually mean “at little or no value.”

Image Credit: MediaFeed/ Viktor Morozuk / iStock.

5. Eellogofusciouhipoppokunurious – 30 Letters

When someone asks how you are, and you are feeling just fine, you can choose to be normal and say, “I’m good.” But you can also choose to be an extraordinarily annoying human being and say that you feel “eellogofusciouhipoppokunurious.” Yes, there is a 30-letter word describing something that can be told in a four-letter word. Found in Wisen’s Dictionary of American Slang, printed in 1934, this intriguing term has its roots in the United States, notably popping up in places like Nebraska, Oregon, and Massachusetts. 

Image Credit: MediaFeed/Viktor Morozuk/iStock.

4. Pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism – 30 Letters

Besides sounding like every spelling bee’s recurring nightmare, the 30-letter breath-taker describes a mild form of the inherited condition “pseudohypoparathyroidism,” simulating many symptoms of the disorder but is not associated with abnormal levels of calcium and phosphorus in the blood.

Image Credit: MediaFeed / Viktor Morozuk / iStock.

3. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious – 34 Letters

According to Mary Poppins, when you have nothing to say and feel just about swell, you should scream from the top of your lungs: “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.” The Sherman Brothers created this 35-letter behemoth of a word, made famous by the 1964 Disney film.

Image Credit: MediaFeed/ Viktor Morozuk / iStock.

2. Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia – 36 Letters

After reading this article, you can freely say that now you have “Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia,” which is a very long word to describe the fear of very long words. The name of this phobia is the second-longest word in the English language.

Image Credit: MediaFeed / Viktor Morozuk/ iStock.

1. Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis – 45 Letters

While it sounds like a practical joke played by linguists, “pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis” is a real word and is the longest one in major dictionaries. 

This tongue-twister takes your breath away, and describes a lung disease caused by inhaling very fine ash and sand dust. The term was coined in 1935 by the National Puzzlers’ League president as a deliberate attempt to create the longest word in the English language. So the next time you’re playing Scrabble, remember this linguistic marathon stretching from one end of the board to another.

This article was produced and syndicated by MediaFeed.

Image Credit: MediaFeed / Viktor Morozuk / iStock.

More from MediaFeed

15 Words You Won’t Believe Are in the Dictionary

Like MediaFeed’s content? Be sure to follow us.

Image Credit: MediaFeed / DALL·E 3.

AlertMe