What are the longest words in English? Most of the words in the English language are pretty straightforward and not too lengthy. However, there are many words within the language that are super long and often difficult to pronounce.
In this article, we are going to be taking a look at some of the longest words in the English language as well as finding out what they mean. These will grow your vocabulary and have your English reaching a new level of fluency.
The Longest Words in English
It might be surprising to learn that the average length of a word in the English language is just 4.7 characters! So when you learn that THE longest word in the language is almost 190,000 characters long, you may be shocked! However, this word, which is actually the chemical name for a protein called titin, is never used in the language.
However, there are many other long words which you may frequently find in both spoken and written conversations.
What Are The Longest Words In English?
For the purpose of this article, we are going to look at some of the longest functional words that you can add to your vocabulary as opposed to the words which have thousands of characters and are never used.
- Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis – This huge word, made up of 45 characters refers to a disease caused by breathing in quartz dust.
- Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia – Ironically, this 36 character word refers to a fear of long words!
- Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious – This is a nonsense word which was taken from the movie, Mary Poppins. The word is now officially recognised as being a word which is said when there is nothing to say.
- Pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism – In the most simple terms, this word refers to a condition to do with calcium and phosphorus levels in the bloodstream.
- Floccinaucinihilipilification – At 29 characters, this long word is not always officially recognised by English dictionaries but is used nonetheless. It means brushing something off as being not important.
- Antidisestablishmentarianism – When English speakers are asked what the longest word in the English language is, they will often tell you that it is this one. However, it only features 28 characters. The word refers to a political movement of the 19th century.
- Honorificabilitudinitatibus – This was a word coined by writer, William Shakespeare.
- Thyroparathyroidectomized – When talking about the removal of the parotid and thyroid glands, a medical specialist would use this term, which is made up of 25 characters.
Commonly Used Long Words in English
The words above may be part of the language but they aren’t words you will likely use. However, here are some long words which you can use in your conversations.
- Incomprehensibilities – Out of all the longest words in the English language, this is the longest one which is in common use. It means things that are very difficult to understand.
- Trichotillamania – This long word refers to the yearning to pull one’s own hair.
- Interdisciplinary – Used to talk about a particular approach to education.
- Pulchritudinous – This word may not be one that you hear very often but it refers to someone who is beautiful in a physical sense.
- Consanguineous – This word refers to people from the same bloodline.
- Inconsequential – Something that does not have a consequence.
- Psychotomimetic – Something which is related to the psychotic changes in behaviour.
- Hypothetically – Referring to a made-up situation, which could be a possibility.
- Surreptitious – something which is suspicious
- Strengths – Whilst this word only has 9 characters, it has won a Guinness world record for having the most consonants and being monosyllabic.
- Euouae – This six-letter word may not be long, per se but does hold a record for being the longest English word made up only from vowels. The word is one of the musical origins from centuries ago.
The English language is full of long words, many of which are not commonly used however, there are some which you can easily put into a sentence in day to day conversation.
Learning these lengthy words is a great way to bring your vocabulary to a new level and expand your fluency of the English language. It is also a great way to practise how to pronounce longer words, as in English some words are not always said how they are written.
The Longest Words in English Infographic