floccinaucinihilipilification

[flok-suh-naw-suh-nahy-hil-uh-pil-uh-fi-key-shuh n]

noun

Rare. the estimation of something as valueless (encountered mainly as an example of one of the longest words in the English language).

Nearby words

  1. floatstone,
  2. floaty,
  3. flob,
  4. floc,
  5. floccillation,
  6. floccose,
  7. flocculant,
  8. floccular,
  9. flocculate,
  10. flocculation

Origin of floccinaucinihilipilification

1735–45; < Latin floccī + naucī + nihilī + pilī all meaning “of little or no value, trifling” + -fication

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


Word Origin and History for floccinaucinihilipilification

floccinaucinihilipilification

n.

"action or habit of estimating as worthless," 1741, a combination of four Latin words (flocci, nauci, nihili, pilifi) all signifying "at a small price" or "for nothing," which were listed together in a rule of the well-known Eton Latin Grammar. The kind of jocular formation that was possible among educated men in Britain in those days. Just so, as in praesenti, the opening words of mnemonic lines on conjugation in Lilley's 16c. Latin grammar, could stand alone as late as 19c. and be understood to mean "rudiments of Latin."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper