• synonyms


  1. consisting of several, especially four or more, syllables, as a word.
  2. characterized by such words, as a language, piece of writing, etc.
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Sometimes pol·y·syl·lab·i·cal.

Origin of polysyllabic

1650–60; < Medieval Latin polysyllab(us) of many syllables (< Greek polysýllabos) + -ic. See poly-, syllabic
Related formspol·y·syl·lab·i·cal·ly, adverbhy·per·pol·y·syl·lab·ic, adjectivehy·per·pol·y·syl·lab·i·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for polysyllabic

Historical Examples of polysyllabic

  • "You haven't told me about the polysyllabic young man," she reminded.

    Good Indian

    B. M. Bower

  • Hence the polysyllabic, and the descriptive character of the language, so composite in its aspect and in its forms.

  • Swinburne's polysyllabic rage showed the force of the current he was trying to stem.


    John Burroughs

  • The languages differ—the Turanian, like the Oceanic and the American, being inflected and polysyllabic.

    Man and His Migrations

    R. G. (Robert Gordon) Latham

  • And by the way, I met that polysyllabic cowboy again—and I discovered that, on the whole, my estimate was incorrect.

    Good Indian

    B. M. Bower

British Dictionary definitions for polysyllabic


  1. consisting of more than two syllables
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Derived Formspolysyllabically, adverb
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 polysyllabic


1650s (implied in polysyllabical), from Medieval Latin polysyllabicus, from Greek polysyllabikos; see poly- + syllabic.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper