[ lawng, long ]
See synonyms for long on Thesaurus.com
adjective,long·er [lawng-ger, long-], /ˈlɔŋ gər, ˈlɒŋ-/, long·est [lawng-gist, long-]. /ˈlɔŋ gɪst, ˈlɒŋ-/.
  1. having considerable linear extent in space: a long distance; a long handle.

  2. having considerable duration in time: a long conversation; a long while.

  1. extending, lasting, or totaling a number of specified units: eight miles long; eight hours long.

  2. containing many items or units: a long list.

  3. requiring a considerable time to relate, read, etc.: a long story.

  4. extending beyond normal or moderate limits: a long, boring speech.

  5. experienced as passing slowly, because of the difficulty, tedium, or unpleasantness involved: long years of study.

  6. reaching well into the past: a long memory.

  7. the longer of two or the longest of several: the long way home; a brick with the long side exposed.

  8. taking a long time; slow: He's certainly long getting here.

  9. forward-looking or considering all aspects; broad: to take a long view of life.

  10. intense, thorough, or critical; seriously appraising: a long look at one's past mistakes.

  11. having an ample supply or endowment of something (often followed by on): to be long on advice; to be long on brains.

  12. having a considerable time to run, as a promissory note.

  13. Chiefly Law. distant or remote in time: a long date.

  14. extending relatively far: a man with a long reach.

  15. being higher or taller than usual: long casement windows.

  16. being against great odds; unlikely: a long chance.

  17. (of beverages) mixed or diluted with a large amount of soda, seltzer, etc.: highballs, collinses, and other long drinks.

  18. (of the head or skull) of more than ordinary length from front to back.

  19. Phonetics.

    • lasting a relatively long time: “Feed” has a longer sound than “feet” or “fit.”

    • 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 (opposed to short (def. 16b)).

    • having the sound of the English vowels in mate, meet, mite, mote, moot, and mute, historically descended from vowels that were long in duration.

  20. Prosody. (of a syllable in quantitative verse) lasting a longer time than a short syllable.

  21. Finance. holding or accumulating stocks, futures, commodities, etc., with the expectation of a rise in prices: a long position in chemicals.

  22. Gambling.

    • marked by a large difference in the numbers of the given betting ratio or in the amounts wagered: long odds.

    • of or relating to the larger amount bet.

  23. 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.

  1. a size of garment for men who are taller than average.

  2. a garment, as a suit or overcoat, in this size: The shorts and the longs are hung separately.

  3. Finance. a person who accumulates or holds stocks or commodities with the expectation of a rise in prices.

  4. 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?

  1. (used elliptically in referring to the length of an absence, delay, etc.): Will she be long?

  2. throughout a specified period of time (usually used to emphasize a preceding noun): It's been muggy all summer long.

  3. at a point of time far distant from the time indicated: long before.

Idioms about long

  1. as long as,

    • provided that: As long as you can come by six, I'll be here.

    • seeing that; since: As long as you're going to the grocery anyway, buy me a pint of ice cream.

    • 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.

  1. the long and the short of, the point or gist of; substance of: The long and the short of it is that they will be forced to sell all their holdings.: Also the long and short of.

Origin of long

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

Other words for long

Other words from long

  • longly, adverb
  • longness, noun

Words that may be confused with long

Other definitions for long (2 of 5)

[ lawng, long ]

verb (used without object)
  1. to have an earnest or strong desire or craving; yearn: to long for spring;to long to return home.

Origin of long

First recorded before 900; Middle English longen, Old English langian “grow longer, yearn after, summon”; see long1

synonym study For long

See yearn.

Other definitions for long (3 of 5)

[ lawng, long ]

verb (used without object)
  1. Archaic. to be suitable or fitting.

  2. Obsolete. to be the possession; belong.

Origin of long

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)”; see origin at belong, along

Other definitions for Long (4 of 5)

[ lawng, long ]

  1. Crawford Wil·liam·son [wil-yuhm-suhn], /ˈwɪl yəm sən/, 1815–78, U.S. surgeon.

  2. Hu·ey Pierce [hyoo-ee], /ˈhyu i/, 1893–1935, U.S. politician: governor of Louisiana 1928–31; U.S. senator 1931–35.

  1. Russell B(il·liu) [bil-yoo], /ˈbɪl yu/, 1918–2003, U.S. lawyer and politician: U.S. senator 1948–87 (son of Huey Long).

  2. Stephen Harriman, 1784–1864, U.S. army officer and explorer.

Other definitions for long. (5 of 5)


  1. longitude.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use long in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for long (1 of 6)


/ (lɒŋ) /

  1. having relatively great extent in space on a horizontal plane

  2. having relatively great duration in time

    • (postpositive) of a specified number of units in extent or duration: three hours long

    • (in combination): a two-foot-long line

  1. having or consisting of a relatively large number of items or parts: a long list

  2. having greater than the average or expected range: a long memory

  3. being the longer or longest of alternatives: the long way to the bank

  4. having more than the average or usual quantity, extent, or duration: a long match

  5. seeming to occupy a greater time than is really so: she spent a long afternoon waiting in the departure lounge

  6. intense or thorough (esp in the phrase a long look)

  7. (of drinks) containing a large quantity of nonalcoholic beverage

  8. (of a garment) reaching to the wearer's ankles

  9. informal (foll by on) plentifully supplied or endowed (with): long on good ideas

  10. phonetics (of a speech sound, esp a vowel)

    • of relatively considerable duration

    • classified as long, as distinguished from the quality of other vowels

    • (in popular usage) denoting the qualities of the five English vowels in such words as mate, mete, mite, moat, moot, and mute

  11. from end to end; lengthwise

  12. unlikely to win, happen, succeed, etc: a long chance

  13. prosody

    • denoting a vowel of relatively great duration or (esp in classical verse) followed by more than one consonant

    • denoting a syllable containing such a vowel

    • (in verse that is not quantitative) carrying the emphasis or ictus

  14. finance having or characterized by large holdings of securities or commodities in anticipation of rising prices: a long position

  15. cricket (of a fielding position) near the boundary: long leg

  16. informal (of people) tall and slender

  17. in the long run See run (def. 82)

  18. 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

  1. at a distant time; quite a bit of time: long before I met you; long ago

  2. 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

  3. as long as or so long as

    • for or during just the length of time that

    • inasmuch as; since

    • provided that; if

  4. 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

  1. a clothing size for tall people, esp in trousers

  2. phonetics a long vowel or syllable

  3. finance a person with large holdings of a security or commodity in expectation of a rise in its price; bull

  4. music a note common in medieval music but now obsolete, having the time value of two breves

  5. before long soon

  6. the long and the short of it the essential points or facts

Origin of long

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

British Dictionary definitions for long (2 of 6)


/ (lɒŋ) /

  1. (intr; foll by for or an infinitive) to have a strong desire

Origin of long

Old English langian; related to long 1

British Dictionary definitions for long (3 of 6)


/ (lɒŋ) /

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

Origin of long

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

British Dictionary definitions for long (4 of 6)


abbreviation for
  1. longitude

British Dictionary definitions for Long (5 of 6)


/ (lɒŋ) /

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

British Dictionary definitions for long- (6 of 6)


  1. (in combination) for or lasting a long time: long-awaited; long-established; long-lasting

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Other Idioms and Phrases with long


In addition to the idioms beginning with long

  • long ago
  • long and short of it, the
  • long arm of the law, the
  • long face
  • long haul
  • long in the tooth
  • long shot, a
  • long suit
  • long time no see

also see:

  • 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

Also see underlonger.

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