[lawng, long]

adjective, long·er [lawng-ger, long-] /ˈlɔŋ gər, ˈlɒŋ-/, long·est [lawng-gist, long-] /ˈlɔŋ gɪst, ˈlɒŋ-/.




    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.
    before long, soon: We should have news of her whereabouts before long.
    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

before 900; (adj.) Middle English longe, Old English lang, long; cognate with Dutch, German lang, Old Norse langr, Gothic langs, Latin longus; (noun) late Middle English, derivative of the adj.; (adv.) Middle English long(e), lange, Old English longe, lange, cognate with Old Saxon, Old High German lango
Related formslong·ly, adverblong·ness, noun
Can be confusedlong longe lounge lunge

Synonyms for long

1. lengthy, extensive. 2. protracted, prolonged, extended. 6. overlong, wordy, prolix; tedious, boring.


[lawng, long]

verb (used without object)

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

Origin of long

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

Synonyms for long

See yearn.


[lawng, long]

verb (used without object)

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

Origin of long

1150–1200; Middle English longen to be suitable or proper, belong, derivative of long on account (of), attributable (to), dependent (on), Old English gelang belonging (to), dependent (on); see along
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for longs

Contemporary Examples of longs

Historical Examples of longs

  • He will carry this note himself, which is to serve as an introduction to you, with whom he longs to be acquainted.

    Lady Susan

    Jane Austen

  • She longs to see you, for she pretends to know you, and says that you are not what you seem.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete

    Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

  • When a woman truly loves a man, she longs to be the mother of his children.

  • Incensed at their ridicule, Oswald longs to chastise them, but moves away.

    Oswald Langdon

    Carson Jay Lee

  • He longs to go to his assistance, but stands irresolute, fearing to offend.

    A War-Time Wooing

    Charles King

British Dictionary definitions for longs


pl n

full-length trousers
long-dated gilt-edged securities
finance unsold securities or commodities held in anticipation of rising prices



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




having relatively great extent in space on a horizontal plane
having relatively great duration in time
  1. (postpositive)of a specified number of units in extent or durationthree hours long
  2. (in combination)a two-foot-long line
having or consisting of a relatively large number of items or partsa long list
having greater than the average or expected rangea long memory
being the longer or longest of alternativesthe long way to the bank
having more than the average or usual quantity, extent, or durationa long match
seeming to occupy a greater time than is really soshe spent a long afternoon waiting in the departure lounge
intense or thorough (esp in the phrase a long look)
(of drinks) containing a large quantity of nonalcoholic beverage
(of a garment) reaching to the wearer's ankles
informal (foll by on) plentifully supplied or endowed (with)long on good ideas
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
from end to end; lengthwise
unlikely to win, happen, succeed, etca long chance
  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
finance having or characterized by large holdings of securities or commodities in anticipation of rising pricesa long position
cricket (of a fielding position) near the boundarylong leg
informal (of people) tall and slender
in the long run See run (def. 82)
long in the tooth informal old or ageing


for a certain time or periodhow long will it last?
for or during an extensive period of timelong into the next year
at a distant time; quite a bit of timelong before I met you; long ago
finance into a position with more security or commodity holdings than are required by sale contracts and therefore dependent on rising prices for profitto go long
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
no longer not any more; formerly but not now


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

Word Origin for long

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




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

Word Origin for long

Old English langian; related to long 1




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

Word Origin for long

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



abbreviation for

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

Word Origin and History for longs



"that extends considerably from end to end," Old English lang "long," from Proto-Germanic *langgaz (cf. Old Frisian and Old Saxon lang, Old High German and German lang, Old Norse langr, Middle Dutch lanc, Dutch lang, Gothic laggs "long").

The Germanic words are perhaps from PIE *dlonghos- (cf. Latin longus, Old Persian darga-, Persian dirang, Sanskrit dirghah, Greek dolikhos "long," Greek endelekhes "perpetual," Latin indulgere "to indulge"), from root *del- "long."

The adverb is from Old English lange, longe, from the adjective. No longer "not as formerly" is from c.1300; to be not long for this world "soon to die" is from 1714.

The word illustrates the Old English tendency for short "a" to become short "o" before -n- (also retained in bond/band and West Midlands dialectal lond from land and hond from hand).

Long vowels (c.1000) originally were pronounced for an extended time. Sporting long ball is from 1744, originally in cricket. Long jump as a sporting event is attested from 1864. A ship's long-boat so called from 1510s. Long knives, name Native Americans gave to white settlers (originally in Virginia/Kentucky) is from 1774. Long in the tooth (1841 of persons) is from horses showing age by recession of gums. Long time no see, imitative of American Indian speech, is first recorded 1900. To be long on something, "have a lot" of it, is from 1900, American English slang.



Old English langian "to yearn after, grieve for," literally "to grow long, lengthen," from Proto-Germanic *langojanan (see long (adj.)). Cognate with Old Norse langa, Old Saxon langon, Middle Dutch langhen, Old High German langen "to long," German verlangen "to desire." Related: Longed; longing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

longs in Medicine


[lông]Crawford Williamson 1815-1878

American surgeon and pioneer anesthetist who was among the first (1842) to use ether as an anesthetic.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with longs


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.