Definition of long in English:

long

adjective

  • 1Measuring a great distance from end to end.

    ‘a long corridor’
    ‘long black hair’
    ‘the line for tickets was long’
    • ‘My room was at the end of a very long hallway with no doors along most of its length.’
    • ‘High hedging ensures a good deal of privacy and the long driveway provides ample parking.’
    • ‘Girls with long hair must tie it back with burgundy or black clips to match the uniform.’
    • ‘I am the last in a relatively long queue.’
    • ‘He started the car and began to drive down the long road from the camp to the highway.’
    • ‘After a couple of lefts and a right she found herself in a long, straight corridor.’
    • ‘Neighbours say he had a pronounced limp and had shaved his head while retaining his long beard.’
    • ‘She has long straight blonde hair, which she usually wears in a ponytail.’
    • ‘Some of the roads are long and winding which results in numerous blindspots along the way.’
    • ‘His face, though powerful, was marred by a long scar stretching across his forehead.’
    • ‘The zoo was packed with happy children and there were long queues to get in.’
    • ‘The strikes continue today and bosses are warning claimants and job seekers to expect long queues.’
    • ‘He had long eyelashes.’
    • ‘The hoods of their robes covered their heads, and they wore long belts of white rope.’
    • ‘Among the supplies is a heavy knife with a long blade that will work as a tool or a weapon.’
    • ‘The bride given in marriage by her father Tommy looked radiant in a white dress with long train.’
    • ‘She deftly ties a knot at the end of a long piece of thread before poking the other quickly through the needle's eye.’
    • ‘Turning, he could see the dark line of cliffs from which he had come, and a long stretch of beach.’
    • ‘She is described as white, about 25, of medium build, with long straight brown hair.’
    • ‘The President sits at the head of a long table, immaculately dressed in a suit and striped tie.’
    lengthy, of considerable length, extended, prolonged, extensive, stretched out, spread out
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (after a measurement and in questions) measuring a specified distance from end to end.
      ‘a boat 150 feet long’
      ‘how long is the leash?’
      • ‘The explosive device is a foot long and shaped like a cigar.’
      • ‘It came in a box about three feet long and two feet wide.’
      • ‘The fish must be forty five inches long.’
      • ‘The structure, constructed entirely of reinforced concrete, is 200 metres long.’
      • ‘I pulled at it and it turned out to be a three to three and a half inch long piece of metal.’
      • ‘He had found an iron rod about a yard long on the riverbank.’
      • ‘It is about seven foot long and - other than some mould on the wood - is in excellent condition.’
      • ‘The course is ten miles long with a five mile climb to the summit and a very fast descent over scree and rocks.’
      • ‘How long is the scar?’
      • ‘How long is your garden?’
      • ‘The tiny stick of metal was less than an inch long, and thinner than a paperclip.’
      • ‘The longest bony fish in the sea, it grows up to nine metres long with a bright red crest that runs the entire length of its body.’
      • ‘The route itself is 73 miles long and would probably take the average walker five or six days.’
      • ‘At the moment the longest leaf is 4 inches long, with half an inch of stem to the main stem.’
      in length, lengthways, lengthwise
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 (of a journey) covering a great distance.
      ‘I went for a long walk’
      • ‘The pilgrims had an extra long journey due to the extra security at the Airport.’
      • ‘The couple had made the long journey from Kent for the bags, joining the queue at 12.30 am.’
      • ‘It should go without saying that it's vital to ensure that the car is capable of a long journey.’
      • ‘Often his journeys involve long treks through remote regions, giving him time to look and think.’
      • ‘Years ago you needed a big car to be comfortable on long journeys, but not any more.’
      • ‘I had a long journey ahead of me, but the reward far outweighed the cost in effort.’
      • ‘In January 1642 the king left London and began a long journey round the Midlands and the north.’
      • ‘Normally, cabbies asked to take clients on long journeys ask for the money up-front.’
      • ‘Get up and stretch when on long journeys such as on a coach or plane.’
      • ‘The weary mother wept as the bus began its long journey back to her small village.’
      • ‘I've got to get up early in the morning as I have a long journey ahead of me.’
      • ‘The long drive back offered everyone the chance to reflect on the trip.’
      • ‘‘This is an awfully long walk,’ he said casually.’
      • ‘By the time she got to Florida, the car had broken down and couldn't make the long journey back.’
      • ‘They all looked bewildered and unkempt and had apparently had a very long journey.’
      • ‘We were very quickly trained, flew at very low level for a long way at night and succeeded.’
      • ‘The long journey took its toll on the intrepid traveller as her petrol tank sprung a leak and her aerial fell off.’
      • ‘Anyone who misses the bus for the return journey must make the long walk home.’
      • ‘Wales march on, but for poor tired Italy, the long flight home will be a chance to reflect on what might have been.’
      • ‘Now nearly 60, Andrew is working as a trainer on lower pay and with a long journey to work.’
    3. 1.3 (of a ball in sports) traveling a great distance, or further than expected or intended.
      ‘he threw a long ball to the catcher’
      • ‘Five minutes later Owen beat Dixon to a long through ball and side footed the ball past Seaman for a late, late winner.’
      • ‘A long ball by the excellent Tommy Farrell was headed clear.’
      • ‘Henry is at his best when receiving long breakaway ball which allows him to run at defenders.’
      • ‘The hilly golf terrain favored his long ball.’
      • ‘One long Aberdeen ball upfield 30 seconds later and Riordan was to be harshly punished.’
      • ‘He can hit the long ball.’
      • ‘Reed hit a long free kick and this time Graham Curry headed over his keeper into the unguarded net.’
    4. 1.4 (of a garment or sleeves on a garment) covering the whole of a person's legs or arms.
      ‘a sweater with long sleeves’
      • ‘He wore some kind of big baggy silken shirt with long sleeves that almost stretched down to the tips of his fingers.’
      • ‘She reached into the wardrobe and removed one of the long dresses that had caught her eye.’
      • ‘He wore black pants with a maroon shirt, the long sleeves pushed up to his elbows.’
      • ‘In Kenya, for instance, native women prefer to see female tourists in long skirts and sleeves.’
      • ‘Cyclists and motorcyclists should always wear a protective helmet and long sleeves.’
      • ‘He was clothed in a soiled tunic and long trousers that barely hid his bronzed feet and grubby toenails.’
      • ‘I almost didn't notice her for a second, but she tugged impatiently on my long sleeve.’
      • ‘A lot of my friends wore miniskirts but I liked my long summer dress which was more comfortable.’
      • ‘They wore pale pink long dresses, fitted at the top and flowing at the bottom and carried cream and pink roses.’
      • ‘Encumbered by her large handbag, she struggles keep her long skirt and shawl out of the mess.’
      • ‘He wore a light blue sweatshirt with long sleeves and blue or black tracksuit bottoms.’
      • ‘She was dressed in a long skirt, which is not part of our school uniform.’
      • ‘Though it was a good 75 degrees out he was wearing pants and a long sleeve shirt.’
      • ‘He was a long white tunic reaching to the ankles and with long sleeves, made from white linen or wool.’
      • ‘The neck line dipped demurely and the long sleeves puffed slightly at the shoulders.’
      • ‘Her scathing glance slid over me, taking in the baggy shirt and long skirt.’
      • ‘I packed for Scotland with long sleeves and waterproofs but had to buy a t-shirt in the golf shop.’
      • ‘The girls of six to ten shall be given skirts or long dresses, and the boys of six to fourteen shall be provided with trousers.’
      • ‘I suggest he goes outside, puts on his first pair of long trousers, and then comes back.’
      • ‘Shorts feel cool, but they can lead to burned legs: you need lightweight long trousers.’
    5. 1.5 Of elongated shape.
      ‘shaped like a torpedo, long and thin’
      • ‘There is a knack to dealing with a mango, which contains a long, thin stone to which the flesh clings for dear life.’
      • ‘I was trying to explain to Thomas that these long thin clouds were from planes, and were kind of like train tracks.’
      • ‘I've noticed that a lot of people seem to be carrying long thin hockey stick shaped bags.’
      • ‘His spear was simple, as well: a long, reasonably thin shaft of wood with an iron point at the end.’
      • ‘Then they transfer the dye colours to it and roll out the substance into a long and thin shape.’
      • ‘Picking up a long pole with a hooked end, a farmer plucks down a pod and cleaves it open with a cutlass.’
      • ‘Well, let me just say that I'm sat at the computer drinking from a long, fluted glass.’
      • ‘Now everyone's in a movie, or a TV show, drinking champagne out of long flutes on a Friday night.’
      • ‘The finger bun was long and thin and had pink icing on top.’
      • ‘Food is served on long low tables, tall enough to allow guests to sit cross legged and to belly up to the edge.’
      • ‘He has long thin sideburns and was wearing silver oblong small-frame silver glasses.’
      • ‘His face was long and thin, his eyes a pale blue.’
      • ‘Just make sure you have a suitably long implement with which to scrape out the marrow so you can spread it on some toast.’
      • ‘The pancakes are served on long, thin wooden plates reflecting their size and shape.’
      • ‘The walls were covered in sponges and a few anemones but the beauty of the cave lay in its long, narrow shape.’
      • ‘This is a long thin instrument with a light source at its tip, to light up the inside of the abdomen or pelvis.’
      • ‘Addington is the larger of two adjacent long barrows overlooking a tributary of the Medway.’
      • ‘It was a room of narrow but long shape, with two glassless windows with wooden shutters.’
      • ‘He walked over to a tree with a hollow in it, and pulled out a large bag with something long and thin in it.’
      • ‘Fill the bag with the roux and pipe long sausages of the mixture on to the tray.’
    6. 1.6informal (of a person) tall.
      • ‘A long woman standing nearby was staring at us.’
      • ‘He was a long lean man with grey eyes.’
  • 2Lasting or taking a great amount of time.

    ‘a long and distinguished career’
    ‘she took a long time to dress’
    • ‘Aged 39, he was looking forward to a long and successful career in local government.’
    • ‘Sometimes he takes a long time between balls and then, for a change, he simply turns and comes right at you.’
    • ‘They spent long periods chasing the ball.’
    • ‘Swindon Traffic Police said long delays were expected due to the volume of the traffic.’
    • ‘Loud arguments and minor scuffles are a common sight, as the long wait wears down patience.’
    • ‘However, if you had been a drugs dealer, you could have expected a long prison sentence.’
    • ‘I actually managed to get my long speech done in two takes which I was delighted with.’
    • ‘Subsequently I have battled a lot of physical ailments, some of long duration.’
    • ‘Health problems need to be attended to and resolved or they can linger for a long time.’
    • ‘At the end of another match he surprised the crowd by breaking into a long speech about Oscar Wilde.’
    • ‘The author had a long career in journalism and his final post was that of executive editor of the European.’
    • ‘If they open their windows, the smell pervades their homes and lingers there for a long time.’
    • ‘Colleagues today paid tribute to their engine driver, who had made many friends during his long career.’
    • ‘Once the trailers were over, there was an unusually long pause when the screen was just black.’
    • ‘Britain's defeat means their long search for a gold medal in the men's team pursuit goes on.’
    • ‘It took her quite a long time to get dressed and undressed.’
    • ‘After an excruciatingly long pause, Amy gasped.’
    • ‘The irregular working hours and long gaps between jobs meant I had lots of time for boyfriends.’
    • ‘If you are going on vacation for a long period, you can ask the neighbour to keep a watch on your home.’
    • ‘Nicole said that she did not think she would be ready to marry anyone for a long time.’
    prolonged, protracted, lengthy, overlong, extended, long-drawn-out, drawn-out, spun-out, dragged-out, seemingly endless, lingering, interminable
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 (after a noun of duration and in questions) lasting or taking a specified amount of time.
      ‘the debates will be 90 minutes long’
      • ‘All sessions are 2 hours long.’
      • ‘They used two bits from the hour long interview, and not the bits that I would necessarily have chosen.’
      • ‘How long did it take for women to get the right to vote?’
      • ‘My only question now is how long will I have to wait before house prices return to sensible levels again?’
      • ‘So on the morning of the test we had an hour long lesson where we basically had to drive up to Palmer's Green to the test centre.’
      • ‘I wonder - how long have you enjoyed gardening, and what helped to develop your interest in it?’
      • ‘This can be entirely attributed to my participation in a six-and-a-half hour long meeting.’
      • ‘As if rowing and golfing hadn't been enough for one day, I then went for a hour long swim.’
      • ‘How long do you have noticeable bruising and scars after facial surgery?’
      • ‘The longest individual work here is a little over 11 minutes long, many last less than a minute.’
      • ‘The final excitement for my week was the several hour long blackout at work yesterday.’
      • ‘The question was asked how long would it take to recoup the cost of parking meters when few people were using some of the places.’
      • ‘If houses were built right next to the youth club, how long before the new owners object to the noise and disruption?’
      • ‘The only question in her mind, was how long would it take for everything to work out?’
      • ‘Last week I began a month-long experiment during which I’m trying to drink only water.’
      • ‘The government has organised a year-long celebration of the 60th anniversary of the late reggae icon Robert 'Bob' Nesta Marley.’
    2. 2.2 Seeming to last more time than is the case; lengthy or tedious.
      ‘serving long hours on the committee’
      • ‘We turned into bed early that night, readying ourselves for what we expected would be a long day.’
      • ‘I haven't seen Liam for a while but when I do it'll probably be a very long night!’
      • ‘I was very grateful to have one night at home, because I knew that it was going to be a long and crazy week.’
      • ‘The tired and weary doormen can only hope it is not too long a night.’
      • ‘Working in a sterile office for three long years left me repressed and saddened by the world.’
      • ‘They were entertained through the long dark hours by live music and a fireworks display.’
      • ‘There were long, wet days when our house seemed so gloomy that I once burst into tears just driving up to it.’
      • ‘He had a solid game that day; as much as could be possibly expected after long months on the sidelines.’
      • ‘There were long days when I was on my own with the physiotherapists, but it's all paid off.’
      • ‘He candidly admits in the book he spent months on the couch and long hours with a marriage counsellor.’
      • ‘I try to go shopping where they wrap for you, otherwise I have a long night of cursing and weeping.’
      • ‘A few days went by and it seemed like the summer was going to be very long and heading towards boring.’
      • ‘They both walked up the stairs to get dressed for the long day that lay ahead of them.’
      • ‘She doesn't have a job and isn't allowed to go out, so she fills the long hours every day by teaching her kids how to swear.’
      • ‘Trapped in the house together during the long curfew hours, Marie spent her days making marmalade.’
      • ‘It's been a long and very busy week, and the week ahead looks about the same, and I desperately need to wind down.’
      • ‘Six thirty in the evening and she was already dressed for the duration of a long night ahead.’
      • ‘We hid for another five long cold hours, well into the night, as we sped across the desert towards the city.’
      • ‘The lack of a break after a long year's tedious work will reduce the efficiency of teachers.’
      • ‘He has been here since the camp started, and the long nights get boring.’
    3. 2.3 (of a person's memory) retaining things for a great amount of time.
      • ‘Maybe the voters will have long memories when the next elections come around.’
      • ‘You don't need a long memory to have perspective in sport, just a memory.’
      • ‘Although he affects a gentle demeanour, O'Leary has a long memory and his opinions can be acidic.’
      • ‘Those with long memories can recall what happened in the city of Ann Arbor, in the early 1970s.’
      • ‘Wiltshire people have long memories as the County Council cabinet will find to their cost.’
      • ‘Those of us with long political memories tend to look back at events of the past and expect history to repeat itself.’
      • ‘I'm a historian with a long memory and a sentimental attachment to my past.’
      • ‘The Parisian spectators have long memories and they do not like a bad loser.’
  • 3Relatively great in extent.

    ‘write a long report’
    ‘a long list of candidates’
    • ‘Replacing the bathroom was way down on a long list of home improvement jobs, but it has now made it to the top.’
    • ‘Getting older no longer leads to a long list of activities that you fear even attempting.’
    • ‘An incredibly long menu makes perfect sense in head office, but causes havoc in the kitchen.’
    • ‘Despite a long list of honorary titles she has remained far from grand.’
    • ‘Vegetarians are well catered for and the chef will rustle up a long list of meat-free dishes on request.’
    • ‘Don't be put off by the long list of ingredients: it is really easy to make.’
    • ‘The former president has a long list of credits not only here at home but abroad.’
    • ‘Ms Kelly said the department eventually put out a long report so that no one would notice its conclusions.’
    • ‘Now they have turned to a police offender profiler to try and narrow down a long list of potential suspects.’
    • ‘I met a German lady who sat in the piazza with a dictionary so that she could write a long letter to me.’
    • ‘While both men have a long list of achievements to their credit, neither is in the first flush of youth.’
    • ‘All I came up with was a series of brain achingly long reports that left me more confused than when I started.’
    • ‘The attacks are the latest in a long list of violent crimes to have blighted Yorkshire in the last month.’
    • ‘The vegetarian menu takes up a page, and there is a long list of fish and poultry dishes.’
    • ‘Rarely before had such a long novel been allowed the integrity to express itself.’
    • ‘Lots of things are bad for us, including a long list of potentially unhealthy foods.’
    • ‘He was the original Hollywood heart-throb, a star with good looks and a long list of lovers.’
    • ‘I made a long list of promises to God of how good I'd be in future if only we could get this sorted out.’
    • ‘The long list of activities includes boxing training, snooker and computer games.’
    • ‘Inquiry reports are often long, comprehensive, densely written, and hard to read.’
    1. 3.1 (after a noun of extent and in questions) having a specified extent.
      ‘the statement was three pages long’
      • ‘How long will each section of the report be?’
      • ‘The script, he says, is approximately 800-1000 pages long, the equivalent to eight to ten hours of dialogue.’
      • ‘I've got a list of things about five sheets long to work on.’
      • ‘The full hand-written letter had originally been presented as just one sheet of paper but it is actually ten sides long.’
      • ‘How long is the book?’
  • 4Phonetics
    (of a vowel) categorized as long with regard to quality and length (e.g., in standard American English, the vowel /uː/ in food is long, as distinct from the short vowel /ʊ/ in good)

    • ‘The big problem with long vowels is that there is more than one way to spell the same sound.’
    • ‘In French, Italian, and Scottish English long vowels occur in a narrow range of positions and in general do not affect meaning.’
    • ‘French long vowels always occur on stressed syllables.’
    1. 4.1Prosody (of a vowel or syllable) having the greater of the two recognized durations.
      • ‘Let's assume that long syllables take just twice as long to say as short ones.’
      • ‘Vocal delivery feels like a poetry reading, spoken as much as sung, but with long drawn syllables.’
      • ‘A trochee is a metrical foot of two syllables, the first long and the second short.’
  • 5(of odds or a chance) reflecting or representing a low level of probability.

    ‘winning against long odds’
    ‘you're taking a long chance’
    • ‘In reality I knew the odds were long, and that my tendency towards scepticism would hold strong.’
    • ‘Today is merely the start of a difficult but worthy process undertaken against long odds.’
    • ‘If you were a betting man, you could have got long odds on such a run of bad luck.’
    • ‘Finally the soldier muttered something to the effect that he was going to take the long chance.’
    • ‘The odds are long that the venture will be a success.’
    • ‘Given how things went into qualifying, it was quite a long call to expect a podium finish.’
    • ‘Despite the long odds, she's hoping someone in the unemployment lines will take up the challenge.’
    • ‘There was an element of ill luck, but every so often, as gamblers would tell us, long odds do come off.’
    • ‘The odds are long, the rewards are high, but there is no assurance of winning.’
  • 6Finance
    (of shares, bonds, or other assets) bought in advance, with the expectation of a rise in price.

    • ‘That does not rule out the potential of long stocks that are going up during a down- trending market, but the probability of that happening is not as high as the alternative.’
    • ‘Provided that restricted shares can be bought at a deep discount to market, it would make much sense for the group holding long shares to try and convert those shares into a far greater number of restricted shares.’
    • ‘After all, back in the seventies, the long bond yield was up in the mid teens.’
    • ‘Is there a worldwide shortage of long bonds?’
    • ‘For this reason, their value is often calculated by making reference to the long bond yield.’
    1. 6.1 (of a broker or their position in the market) buying or based on long stocks.
      • ‘Traders and investors who limit themselves to long positions are conceding a big advantage to market professionals who are just as likely to go short as go long.’
      • ‘This is so because the central bank is on the long side of the bond market most of the time.’
      • ‘Traders are well advised to enter into a long position and place a protective stop below the latest low in the market.’
      • ‘When markets turn vulnerable, the enterprising speculator may this time decide to reverse his long position and go short.’
      • ‘Buy-ins are generated by a long broker to close out an open fail with a counterparty.’
    2. 6.2 (of a security) maturing at a distant date.
      • ‘Long securities are such a good substitute for cash.’
      • ‘Issuers who are unwilling to pay the price to sell these long securities can instead sell shorter maturities.’
  • 7long oninformal Well-supplied with.

    ‘an industry that seems long on ideas but short on cash’
    • ‘Many of the businesses we work in seem long on management and short on leadership.’
    • ‘They are long on opinions, but short on evidence.’
    • ‘Both movies are extremely long on mystery and innuendo.’
    • ‘The hearing which followed was long on plausibility, but short on actuality.’
    • ‘The minister has shown she is long on rhetoric but short on action.’
    • ‘He is long on promises, but short on accomplishments.’
    • ‘And while Scotland were long on perspiration, they were woefully short on inspiration.’

Phrases

  • as (or so) long as

    • 1During the whole time that.

      ‘they have been there as long as anyone can remember’
      • ‘I'm not sure when this one got started, but it has been going on as long as I can remember.’
      • ‘Ever have a picture on the wall, or something on a shelf that seemed to be there for as long as you can remember?’
      • ‘Ducks have been part of the village scene in Bledington for as long as anyone can remember.’
      • ‘His mother taught six- and seven-year-olds at the local school and had done for as long as he could remember.’
      • ‘There had been no rain in the valley for as long as the children could remember.’
      • ‘Scotland is a magnificent country which has voted Labour for as long as most of us can remember.’
      • ‘The first house was empty, boarded up, and had been for as long as the boy could remember.’
      • ‘He said it was a great day for the town and one he would remember as long as he lived.’
      • ‘For as long as I can remember, my home city has had pretensions to be something that it is not.’
      • ‘Newton's theory of gravity will be used as long as there are scientists on this planet.’
    • 2Provided that.

      ‘as long as you fed him, he would be cooperative’
      • ‘There are few moral limits imposed, so long as what happens is between consenting adults.’
      • ‘I don't care what I look like when fishing, so long as I am mobile and, if possible, not too hot or too cold.’
      • ‘We are happy for anyone to pick this up as long as it is not used for any commercial purpose.’
      • ‘People have the right to live how they choose, so long as they do not place themselves or others in danger.’
      • ‘These can be a good idea, as long as you remember to revisit your accounts at the end of the bonus period.’
      • ‘The advantage of the essay question is that you can play to your strengths - so long as what you write is relevant.’
      • ‘They don't mind what anyone else does or is - so long as they get equal freedom in return.’
      • ‘Security is not a problem as long as you never give anyone your password or security details.’
      • ‘What we do with our private lives seems not to matter, as long as it doesn't harm anyone else.’
      • ‘The government maintains that it does not matter who provides the services so long as they are publicly funded.’
  • be long

    • Take a long time to happen or arrive.

      ‘sit down, tea won't be long’
      ‘it won't be long before you're hooked’
      • ‘Tell them I won't be long.’
      • ‘It will not be long before you can buy network television programming without ads for a monthly fee.’
      • ‘I'm sure it won't be long before someone decides they really should get that old lotto ticket in their wallet checked out, and finds themselves a little bit richer.’
      • ‘It may not be long before Americans see a new English hero.’
      • ‘He knew the twelve o'clock train would not be long.’
  • in the long run

    • Over or after a long period of time; eventually.

      ‘it saves money in the long run’
      • ‘I gave up music to do Latin because I thought it would be better in the long run.’
      • ‘Of course it would be difficult, but the benefits in the long run would be worth it.’
      • ‘They may trap you for several years on a variable rate which could prove expensive in the long run.’
      • ‘As well as improving performance, the new units would also save money in the long run.’
      • ‘He said two teachers had already been recruited but they were looking for about ten more in the long run.’
      • ‘The project will both use a renewable source of power as well as save the university money in the long run.’
      • ‘Engineering skills are no longer appreciated in this country and we will all suffer in the long run for it.’
      • ‘The earlier you take action, the less money it will cost you in the long run.’
      • ‘Constantly exceeding the normal hours of work is not, in the long run, of benefit to employers.’
      • ‘Although bosses admit the changes will cause teething problems they say it will work well in the long run.’
      eventually, in the end, ultimately, when all is said and done, in the final analysis, in the fullness of time
      View synonyms
  • long ago

    • In the distant past.

      ‘long ago an unmarried girl was considered her father's property’
      ‘her son died long ago’
      as modifier ‘time has marched on since my long-ago youth’
      • ‘Long ago, ice used to be a novelty, shipped across the world in massive chunks carved from frozen lakes and rivers.’
      • ‘Long ago, barbers played a prominent role in medicine and dentistry.’
      • ‘The Andamanese have a number of stories which are told to the younger people by their elders and relate to the doings of their ancestors in a time long ago.’
      • ‘Long ago when I was in high school, my baseball coach provided "oil of wintergreen" for our sore muscles.’
      • ‘Attempts to transmute other metals to gold may have been made as long ago as the Bronze Age.’
      • ‘It might have been part of a pirate or a viking ship long ago.’
      • ‘Long ago, marriage was more financially motivated than a matter of the heart.’
      • ‘The energy is all derived from the photosynthesis of plants long ago.’
      • ‘Longer ago than I care to remember, I was privileged enough to be elected student union president of my college.’
      • ‘It's way too late but these children should have been adopted by capable parents long ago.’
      long ago, bygone
      View synonyms
  • the long and the short of it

    • All that can or need be said.

      ‘the long and short of it is that he got himself mugged’
      • ‘I had some blood tests a couple of weeks ago, to see how the drug has been working and, the long and the short of it is, it hasn't.’
      • ‘He's shell shocked, is the long and the short of it.’
      • ‘I'm just somebody serving food and that's the long and the short of it.’
      • ‘And then the long and the short of it was that we went back to where we stayed and there was no sign of her back there.’
      • ‘Anyway, the long and the short of it is that in the check in line on my way to Germany, I realised I had my Swiss Army Knife in my pocket.’
      • ‘Anyway, the long and the short of it is that when the lights go down in the house there are five of us in the audience (in a theatre holding 98), and what we see is absolutely marvellous.’
      • ‘Anyway, the long and the short of it is that I got a free new modem out of it.’
      • ‘The long and the short of it is that we pay ourselves too well and the cost has to be recouped by service and product providers.’
      • ‘So, the long and the short of it was that twice a day, a swarm of four hundred eleven- to sixteen-year-olds would attempt to cross the busiest road in the south of England by bike.’
      • ‘Anyway, the long and the short of it is that I have a trial session booked up for Thursday after work.’
  • long in the tooth

    • Rather old.

      • ‘‘I felt we were getting a bit long in the tooth,’ he said.’
      • ‘My old home computer was getting a little long in the tooth, so I decided it was time to upgrade to a speedy new machine.’
      • ‘I'm too long in the tooth and I'm too old to be bluffed.’
      • ‘After a career in building he decided he was too long in the tooth and looked to something more gentle - funeral directory.’
      • ‘He assures me he is far too long in the tooth to compete against the current world title holders, who nowadays are in their teens.’
      • ‘But the car was looking increasingly long in the tooth, despite continuous design improvements.’
      • ‘I'm a bit too long in the tooth to get too worked up about these things any more.’
      • ‘His gaggle of girlfriends all seem suspiciously long in the tooth to qualify as high-school students.’
      • ‘I think I am too long in the tooth to start adopting the dress down policy of many of today's businesses.’
      • ‘I'm only 29 so I hope that doesn't make me long in the tooth, I started driving a logging truck when I was 17.’
  • long time no see

    • informal It's a long time since we last met (used as a greeting)

      • ‘‘Oh, hello, Ryan, long time no see,’ Adrienne's father, Michael Moore greeted me when I rang their doorbell.’
      • ‘Hey there stranger, long time no see.’
      • ‘Sweetie, long time no see, where have you been hiding?’
      • ‘So nice of you to join us Andrew, long time no see.’
      • ‘I never stopped to say hello, long time no see.’
      • ‘‘Hey Zoë, long time no see,’ he greeted casually.’
      • ‘She was about to pick up one of her bags when she saw Sam looking at her, ‘Hi, long time no see.’’
      • ‘Kevin turned around, and smiled politely, ‘Hey Conner, long time no see.’’
      • ‘Mark, the instructor who I've mentioned before in a post said hi, and asked where I was… long time no see.’
      • ‘‘Hello, long time no see,’ Astor remarked to Belinda as the ladies crowded into the somewhat ungenerous dressing room.’
  • not long ago

    • Recently.

      ‘not long ago he came across a rattlesnake outside his house’
      • ‘The Foreign Minister spoke to journalists not long ago.’
      • ‘I did a Washington fundraiser gig not long ago.’
      • ‘This reminds me of a discussion I had with a friend not long ago.’
      • ‘Not long ago, bicycles were the main mode of transportation here.’
      • ‘This subject came up not long ago at a dinner party.’
      • ‘Not long ago such a demand would have seemed both radical and unfeasible.’
      • ‘Not long ago a friend of mine moved to Bangalore.’
      • ‘Not long ago, I began rereading the novels of Jane Austen.’
      • ‘Not long ago most economists in the US were lamenting the fact that we had such a low savings rate while Japan had such a high savings rate.’
      • ‘You may not be aware that her father died not long ago.’
      not long ago, a short time ago, in the last few days, in the last few months, in the last few weeks, in the past few days, in the past few months, in the past few weeks, a little while back
      View synonyms
  • take the long view

    • Think beyond the current situation; plan for the future.

      • ‘In the hyperactive world of investing - with its rapid trades and lust for instant wealth - some analysts take the long view.’
      • ‘He came across as the charismatic voice of reason, talking sense and taking the long view.’
      • ‘As a company we are not taken in by fads, we take the long view.’
      • ‘He had held many of his views since early adulthood, and he took the long view.’
      • ‘Rarely do government officials take the long view.’
      • ‘Conservative strategists taking the long view must already be realizing the next election, generally expected just a few months from now, could turn out disastrously for the new party.’
      • ‘If history teaches us anything, it's to take the long view.’
      • ‘But as a technology publication, we like to take the long view here, and we try to determine the long-term viability of technologies, not just their instant gratification factor.’
      • ‘It would seem that in this one unique instance the government is taking the long view.’
      • ‘The energy industry has always had to take the long view.’

Origin

Old English lang, long (adjective), lange, longe (adverb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch and German lang.

Pronunciation