[ an-tee-dis-uh-stab-lish-muhn-tair-ee-uh-niz-uhm, an-tahy- ]
/ ˌæn tiˌdɪs əˌstæb lɪʃ mənˈtɛər i əˌnɪz əm, ˌæn taɪ- /
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opposition to the withdrawal of state support or recognition from an established church, especially the Anglican Church in 19th-century England.


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Origin of antidisestablishmentarianism

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021


What does antidisestablishmentarianism mean?

Antidisestablishmentarianism is opposition to a breaking away from an established church.

Antidisestablishmentarianism is used to specifically refer to people who opposed withdrawing support of the Anglican Church of England during the 1800s.

Antidisestablishmentarianism is rarely, if ever, encountered because of its actual meaning. Instead, antidisestablishmentarianism is often cited as being one of the longest words in the English language, coming in at a staggering 28 letters. It is often considered a novelty word alongside other really long words, such as floccinaucinihilipilification and supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

Example: She played a joke on me and dared me to spell “antidisestablishmentarianism.”

Where does antidisestablishmentarianism come from?

The first records of word antidisestablishmentarianism come from around 1923. Even then, the word was considered an oddity that was only memorable because of its length.

Antidisestablishmentarianism is made of four parts that come together to give it its exact meaning. The prefix anti- means “against” or “opposed. The word disestablishment in this seans means “the act of withdrawing exclusive state support from (a church).” The suffix -arian indicates a person who supports or practices something. Finally, the suffix -ism is used in nouns that mean an adherence or devotion to something.

While antidisestablishmentarianism is a very long word, there are actually some longer words out there. Both supercalifragilisticexpialidocious and the ludicrously long pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis have more letters. If you are a fan of huge words like these and wonder what they mean, take a look at our article “The Longest Words in the English Language.”

Did you know ... ?

What are some words that share a root or word element with antidisestablishmentarianism

What are some words that often get used in discussing antidisestablishmentarianism?

How is antidisestablishmentarianism used in real life?

Antidisestablishmentarianism is rarely used for its actual meaning but is instead used as an example of a very long word.

Try using antidisestablishmentarianism!

True or False?

If a person supports antidisestablishmentarianism, they oppose giving money to churches.