[ ses-kwi-pi-dey-lee-uh n, -deyl-yuh n ]
/ ˌsɛs kwɪ pɪˈdeɪ li ən, -ˈdeɪl yən /

adjective Also ses·quip·e·dal [ses-kwip-i-dl] /sɛsˈkwɪp ɪ dl/.

given to using long words.
(of a word) containing many syllables.


a sesquipedalian word.

Origin of sesquipedalian

1605–15; < Latin sēsquipedālis measuring a foot and a half (see sesqui-, pedal) + -an

Related forms

ses·qui·pe·dal·i·ty [ses-kwi-pi-dal-i-tee] /ˌsɛs kwɪ pɪˈdæl ɪ ti/, ses·qui·pe·da·li·an·ism, ses·quip·e·dal·ism [ses-kwip-i-dl-iz-uh m, ‐kwi-peed-l-iz-uh m] /sɛsˈkwɪp ɪ dlˌɪz əm, ‐kwɪˈpid lˌɪz əm/, nounun·ses·qui·pe·da·li·an, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sesquipedalian

British Dictionary definitions for sesquipedalian


less commonly sesquipedal (sɛsˈkwɪpədəl)

/ (ˌsɛskwɪpɪˈdeɪlɪən) /


tending to use very long words
(of words or expressions) long and ponderous; polysyllabic


a polysyllabic word

Derived Forms

sesquipedalianism, noun

Word Origin for sesquipedalian

C17: from Latin sēsquipedālis of a foot and a half (coined by Horace in Ars Poetica), from sesqui- + pedālis of the foot, from pēs foot
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