View synonyms for long



[ lawng, long ]


, long·er [lawng, -ger, long, -], long·est [lawng, -gist, long, -].
  1. having considerable linear extent in space:

    a long distance; a long handle.

    Synonyms: extensive, lengthy

  2. having considerable duration in time:

    a long conversation; a long while.

    Synonyms: extended, protracted

  3. extending, lasting, or totaling a number of specified units:

    eight miles long; eight hours long.

  4. containing many items or units:

    a long list.

  5. requiring a considerable time to relate, read, etc.:

    a long story.

  6. extending beyond normal or moderate limits:

    a long, boring speech.

    Synonyms: boring, tedious, prolix, wordy

  7. experienced as passing slowly, because of the difficulty, tedium, or unpleasantness involved:

    long years of study.

  8. reaching well into the past:

    a long memory.

  9. the longer of two or the longest of several:

    the long way home; a brick with the long side exposed.

  10. taking a long time; slow:

    He's certainly long getting here.

  11. forward-looking or considering all aspects; broad:

    to take a long view of life.

  12. intense, thorough, or critical; seriously appraising:

    a long look at one's past mistakes.

  13. having an ample supply or endowment of something (often followed by on ):

    to be long on advice; to be long on brains.

  14. having a considerable time to run, as a promissory note.
  15. Chiefly Law. distant or remote in time:

    a long date.

  16. extending relatively far:

    a man with a long reach.

  17. being higher or taller than usual:

    long casement windows.

  18. being against great odds; unlikely:

    a long chance.

  19. (of beverages) mixed or diluted with a large amount of soda, seltzer, etc.:

    highballs, collinses, and other long drinks.

  20. (of the head or skull) of more than ordinary length from front to back.
  21. Phonetics.
    1. lasting a relatively long time:

      “Feed” has a longer sound than “feet” or “fit.”

    2. belonging to a class of sounds considered as usually longer in duration than another class, as the vowel of bought as compared to that of but, and in many languages serving as a distinctive feature of phonemes, as the ah in German Bahn in contrast with the a in Bann, or the tt in Italian fatto in contrast with the t in fato ( short ( def 16b ) ).
    3. having the sound of the English vowels in mate, meet, mite, mote, moot, and mute, historically descended from vowels that were long in duration.
  22. Prosody. (of a syllable in quantitative verse) lasting a longer time than a short syllable.
  23. Finance. holding or accumulating stocks, futures, commodities, etc., with the expectation of a rise in prices:

    a long position in chemicals.

  24. Gambling.
    1. marked by a large difference in the numbers of the given betting ratio or in the amounts wagered:

      long odds.

    2. of or relating to the larger amount bet.
  25. Ceramics. (of clay) very plastic; fat.


  1. a comparatively long time:

    They haven't been gone for long. Will it take long?

  2. something that is long:

    The signal was two longs and a short.

  3. a size of garment for men who are taller than average.
  4. a garment, as a suit or overcoat, in this size:

    The shorts and the longs are hung separately.

  5. Finance. a person who accumulates or holds stocks or commodities with the expectation of a rise in prices.
  6. Music. longa.


  1. for or through a great extent of space or, especially, time:

    a reform long advocated.

  2. for or throughout a specified extent, especially of time:

    How long did he stay?

  3. (used elliptically in referring to the length of an absence, delay, etc.):

    Will she be long?

  4. throughout a specified period of time (usually used to emphasize a preceding noun):

    It's been muggy all summer long.

  5. at a point of time far distant from the time indicated:

    long before.



[ lawng, long ]

verb (used without object)

  1. to have an earnest or strong desire or craving; yearn: to long to return home.

    to long for spring;

    to long to return home.



[ lawng, long ]

verb (used without object)

  1. Archaic. to be suitable or fitting.
  2. Obsolete. to be the possession; belong.



[ lawng, long ]


  1. Crawford Wil·liam·son [wil, -y, uh, m-s, uh, n], 1815–78, U.S. surgeon.
  2. Hu·ey Pierce [hyoo, -ee], 1893–1935, U.S. politician: governor of Louisiana 1928–31; U.S. senator 1931–35.
  3. Russell B(il·liu) [bil, -yoo], 1918–2003, U.S. lawyer and politician: U.S. senator 1948–87 (son of Huey Long).
  4. Stephen Harriman, 1784–1864, U.S. army officer and explorer.



abbreviation for

  1. longitude.



/ lɒŋ /


  1. archaic.
    intr to belong, appertain, or be appropriate



abbreviation for

  1. longitude



/ lɒŋ /


  1. LongCrawford Williamson18151878MUSMEDICINE: surgeonMEDICINE: surgeon Crawford Williamson. 1815–78, US surgeon. He was the first to use ether as an anaesthetic




  1. in combination for or lasting a long time






/ lɒŋ /


  1. having relatively great extent in space on a horizontal plane
  2. having relatively great duration in time
    1. postpositive of a specified number of units in extent or duration

      three hours long

    2. ( in combination )

      a two-foot-long line

  3. having or consisting of a relatively large number of items or parts

    a long list

  4. having greater than the average or expected range

    a long memory

  5. being the longer or longest of alternatives

    the long way to the bank

  6. having more than the average or usual quantity, extent, or duration

    a long match

  7. seeming to occupy a greater time than is really so

    she spent a long afternoon waiting in the departure lounge

  8. intense or thorough (esp in the phrase a long look )
  9. (of drinks) containing a large quantity of nonalcoholic beverage
  10. (of a garment) reaching to the wearer's ankles
  11. informal.
    foll by on plentifully supplied or endowed (with)

    long on good ideas

  12. phonetics of a speech sound, esp a vowel
    1. of relatively considerable duration
    2. classified as long, as distinguished from the quality of other vowels
    3. (in popular usage) denoting the qualities of the five English vowels in such words as mate, mete, mite, moat, moot, and mute
  13. from end to end; lengthwise
  14. unlikely to win, happen, succeed, etc

    a long chance

  15. prosody
    1. denoting a vowel of relatively great duration or (esp in classical verse) followed by more than one consonant
    2. denoting a syllable containing such a vowel
    3. (in verse that is not quantitative) carrying the emphasis or ictus
  16. finance having or characterized by large holdings of securities or commodities in anticipation of rising prices

    a long position

  17. cricket (of a fielding position) near the boundary

    long leg

  18. informal.
    (of people) tall and slender
  19. in the long run
    See run
  20. long in the tooth informal.
    old or ageing


  1. for a certain time or period

    how long will it last?

  2. for or during an extensive period of time

    long into the next year

  3. at a distant time; quite a bit of time

    long before I met you

    long ago

  4. finance into a position with more security or commodity holdings than are required by sale contracts and therefore dependent on rising prices for profit

    to go long

  5. as long as or so long as
    1. for or during just the length of time that
    2. inasmuch as; since
    3. provided that; if
  6. no longer
    not any more; formerly but not now


  1. a long time (esp in the phrase for long )
  2. a relatively long thing, such as a signal in Morse code
  3. a clothing size for tall people, esp in trousers
  4. phonetics a long vowel or syllable
  5. finance a person with large holdings of a security or commodity in expectation of a rise in its price; bull
  6. music a note common in medieval music but now obsolete, having the time value of two breves
  7. before long
  8. the long and the short of it
    the essential points or facts



/ lɒŋ /


  1. intr; foll by for or an infinitive to have a strong desire
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Other Words From

  • longly adverb
  • longness noun
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Word History and Origins

Origin of long1

First recorded before 900; Middle English adjective longe, Old English lang, long; cognate with Dutch, German lang, Old Norse langr, Gothic langs, Latin longus; noun, adverb, derivative of the adjective

Origin of long2

First recorded before 900; Middle English longen, Old English langian “grow longer, yearn after, summon”; long 1

Origin of long3

First recorded in 1150–1200; Middle English longen “to be suitable, fitting, or proper,” derivative of long “attributable (to), dependent (on),” Old English gelang “belonging (to), dependent (on)”; belong, along
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Word History and Origins

Origin of long1

Old English langian to belong, from gelang at hand, belonging to; compare along

Origin of long2

Old English lang; related to Old High German lang, Old Norse langr, Latin longus

Origin of long3

Old English langian; related to long 1
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Idioms and Phrases

  1. as long as,
    1. provided that:

      As long as you can come by six, I'll be here.

    2. seeing that; since:

      As long as you're going to the grocery anyway, buy me a pint of ice cream.

    3. Also so long as. during the time that; through the period that:

      As long as we were neighbors, they never invited us inside their house.

  2. before long, soon:

    We should have news of her whereabouts before long.

  3. the long and the short of, the point or gist of; substance of: Also the long and short of.

    The long and the short of it is that they will be forced to sell all their holdings.

More idioms and phrases containing long

  • as long as
  • at (long) last
  • before long
  • come a long way
  • (long) drawn out
  • go a long way toward
  • happy as the day is long
  • in the long run
  • make a long story short
  • so long
  • longer
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Synonym Study

See yearn.
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Example Sentences

In other words, fluoride is a broad-spectrum, bipartisan, long-lasting magnet for dissent.

And they might not have to wait that long to show their political heft.

The plan is to stretch it out as long as possible, then probably forget about it, and then suddenly remember it.

Great American leaders have long contributed profound thoughts of tremendous consequence to the public discourse.

“Lockheed Martin has a long history of misrepresenting facts,” Wheeler added.

It was a decayed house of superb proportions, but of a fashion long passed away.

As long as may be necessary, Sam,” replied Mr. Pickwick, “you have my full permission to remain.

Ages back—let musty geologists tell us how long ago—'twas a lake, larger than the Lake of Geneva.

I hate to be long at my toilette at any time; but to delay much in such a matter while travelling is folly.

She sat straight up in bed, and jerked her hands to her head, and screamed long and terribly.


Related Words

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.