sesquipedalian [ses-kwi-pi- dey-lee- uh n, - deyl-y uh n] Word Origin adjective Also ses·quip·e·dal . [ses- kwip-i-dl] /sɛsˈkwɪp ɪ dl/ given to using long words. (of a word) containing many syllables. Origin of sesquipedalian 1605–15;
measuring a foot and a half (see
-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/ noun un·ses·qui·pe·da·li·an, adjective
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for sesquipedalism sesquipedalian less commonly sesquipedal ( sɛsˈkwɪpəd) əl tending to use very long words (of words or expressions) long and ponderous; polysyllabic Derived Forms sesquipedalianism, noun Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for sesquipedalism sesquipedalian n.
1610s, "person or thing a foot and a half long," from Latin
sesquipedalia "a foot-and-a-half long," from sesqui- "half as much again" (see sesqui-) + stem of pes "foot" (see foot (n.)). As an adjective 1650s.
Meaning "sesquipedalian word" (1830) is from Latin
sesquipedalia verba "words a foot-and-a-half long," in Horace's "Ars Poetica" (97), nicely illustrating the thing he is criticizing.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper