What Is The Longest Word In English? Here’s A List Of 15 Lengthy Words

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It should come as no surprise that we are word lovers. In fact, we are big word lovers in that we love really big words. To express our love, we looked around for some of the biggest, most ludicrously long words in the English language. In addition to pure length, we also tried to find: 

  • the longest word without vowels
  • the longest one-syllable word
  • and other uniquely long words.

Figuring out which word is the longest of them all isn’t as simple as just counting letters, though. Should you count scientific words? Should obscure, rarely used words be included, or should we give the honor to a word people actually use? In the interest of fairness, our list includes scientific words, obscure words, and all of the absurdly long words stuck in between.  


At over 180,000 letters long, the chemical name of the protein titin is often said to technically be the longest English word. If spoken out loud, this word takes over three hours to say! Its absurd length is due to the fact that proteins get their scientific names by combining the names of all of their joined amino acids together, and titin has quite a lot of them. For obvious reasons, titin’s official name has never actually appeared in a dictionary or scientific text. Because it is a scientific term, many would disqualify the Big M from actually taking the crown as English’s longest word. 


Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis, coming in at 45 letters long, is typically the biggest word you will find that actually appears in an English dictionary. According to many sources, it was coined around 1935 by Everett Smith, who at the time was the president of the National Puzzlers’ League. The word, which was basically engineered for its length, refers to a lung disease caused by inhaling silica dust. 


Let’s look at a word related to the business of “longest words.” Sesquipedalianism is the tendency to use long words. Do you have sesquipedalian tendencies? (We do.)

The word is traced to the ancient Roman poet Horace, who in a treatise on the art of poetry wrote that in certain circumstances, poets must avoid sesquipedalia verba, a Latin phrase meaning “words [verba] a foot and a half long [sesquipedalia].” Horace clearly had a sense of humor.


We include pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism, another medical term, because this is one of the longest words to appear in major dictionaries that wasn’t created with length in mind. Pseudo- is a combining form meaning “false, pretended, unreal.”

You might notice the appearance of pseudo- twice. That’s because this disorder simulates the symptoms of pseudohypoparathyroidism, in which the body doesn’t respond to the parathyroid hormone. So, there are two levels of “faking it” going on here.

English isn’t the only language with lengthy elements of its lexicon. Get to know some of the world’s longest words!


Often, people will bust out antidisestablishmentarianism as the longest word they know and are actually able to say. This word has rarely been used and is only mentioned due to its ridiculous length. This word refers to opposition to withdrawing support from the Anglican Church as the state church of 19th-century England. 


Even though the sound if it is something quite atrocious, we do really like the word supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. This nonsensical word with no real meaning was popularized by the 1964 Disney film Mary Poppins and is often used by children as an example of a humorously long word. Songwriters Richard and Robert Sherman take credit for this exact spelling of the word, but the word itself existed even before Mary Poppins made it popular. 


Here’s one that is also very meta: floccinaucinihilipilification is a rarely used word that means “the estimation of something as valueless.” It is usually used in reference to itself! Dating back to the 1700s, the word contains four Latin roots that all mean “of little value” or “trifling”: floccī, naucī, nihilī, and pilī.


The word honorificabilitudinitatibus, which is said to mean “capable of receiving honor,” has two major honors to its name. Firstly, it is the longest word to ever appear in the works of William Shakespeare. Billy the Bard only ever used it once, in his play Love’s Labour’s Lost (1590s). Secondly, honorificabilitudinitatibus is the longest English word wherein the consonants and vowels alternate back and forth. Check it again if you didn’t notice! 


Uncharacteristically for most of the really long words you’ve seen so far, the word uncharacteristically is often said to be the longest word that the average English speaker will commonly see or actually use in everyday life. As you may already know, uncharacteristically is an adverb that describes something as not being typical or acting in a characteristic manner. 


At 21 characters, another one of the longest words you might actually use yourself is incomprehensibilities. We define incomprehensible as “impossible to comprehend or understand,” so incomprehensibilities are “things you can’t comprehend.” ¿Comprendes?


If you look closely at the spelling, you’ll notice a peculiar thing about this word with 16 letters. It does not repeat any letter; each character is used only once. This word is sometimes called an isogram among lovers of words and word games.

One of the longest isograms is subdermatoglyphic, at 17 characters. But, since subdermatoglyphic (dermatoglyphics studies the patterns of skin markings on the hands and feet) is a bit scientific and certainly not one that is used often, we’re spotlighting uncopyrightables instead because it’s one we can all remember. It means, of course, “items that are unable to be copyrighted.”


The word rhythms may not look like much at only seven letters long, but it is said to be the longest English word without one of the five main vowels in it. The letter Y, that wishy-washy “sometimes vowel,” is filling in while A, E, I, O, and U are taking a break. As we all know, the word rhythms means “movements or procedures with uniform or patterned recurrence of a beat, accent, or the like.” 

Are there really words without vowels? Depending on the definition, the answer might elicit a hmm.


Strengths is another smaller word with a big achievement under its belt. It is the longest English word with only a single vowel in it. Considering it is only eight letters long, that really shows you how much we value our vowels. The plural strengths is most often used to mean “positive or valuable attributes or qualities.”  


We go nuts for this word. While the word squirreled usually only has one L in American English, some dictionaries accept this British English version as an alternate spelling. Some Americans pronounce the word squirrelled as a one-syllable word (rhyming with “curled”). This makes squirrelled the longest one-syllable word in the English language at 11 letters. If all of that sounds too squirrely for you, the one-syllable verb broughammed from the noun brougham, a type of carriage, is also 11 letters long. 

As an aside, some may tell you that the word schtroumpfed is actually the longest “English” word with only a single syllable. This word has been used in some translations of The Smurfs (which is Les Schtroumpfs in French) in place of the more commonly used nonsensical verb smurfed. In our opinion, claiming schtroumpfed is the longest one-syllable word is just a bunch of smurf. 


Aegilops sounds like the name of a mythical monster, but it is actually the name of a genus of wild grasses commonly known as goatgrass. In addition to that, Aegilops is also commonly said to be the longest English word that has all of the letters in alphabetical order.

Indulge your inner sesquipedalian and take the quiz!

Think you’re ready to ace our longest English words quiz? Or is it a long shot? It won’t be long before you find out. Remember that a little practice goes a long way!

Now that you know the longest words in English, do you know the language's longest palindrome?

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