• synonyms


[noo-muh-noh-uhl-truh-mahy-kruh-skop-ik-sil-i-koh-vol-key-noh-koh-nee-oh-sis, nyoo-]
  1. an obscure term ostensibly referring to a lung disease caused by silica dust, sometimes cited as one of the longest words in the English language.
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Origin of pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis

< New Latin; see pneumono-, ultramicroscopic, silica, volcano, (pneumono)coniosis
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Word Origin and History for pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis


1962, "A facetious word alleged to mean 'a lung disease caused by the inhalation of very fine silica dust' but occurring chiefly as an instance of a very long word" [OED]. Said in an early reference to have been invented by seventh grade students in Norfolk, Virginia.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper