One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1(of a word) polysyllabic; long.‘sesquipedalian surnames’
bombastic, pompous, overblown, overripe, inflated, high-flown, affected, pretentious, grandiose, florid, flowery, ornate, magniloquent, grandiloquent, rhetorical, oratorical, orotundView synonyms
- ‘Geologists (who never shy away from sesquipedalian words) call the process ‘differentiation.’’
- ‘Helplessly, he would manipulate every sesquipedalian word he encountered until he had wrung all possible combinations out of it.’
- 1.1 Characterized by long words; long-winded.‘the sesquipedalian prose of scientific journals’
lengthy, long, overlong, prolonged, protracted, long-drawn-out, interminable, tedious, wearisome, boringView synonyms
- ‘This isn't some pretentious, sesquipedalian piece of drivel, but a mad, inspired, fun must-read.’
- ‘The English of the New Jerusalem Bible and New American Bible is sesquipedalian and nearly impossible to read aloud at times.’
- ‘The work started as a monologue, a rather sesquipedalian, somewhat dithering Englishwoman's reverie about Kabul based on a 1965 guidebook to that city.’
Mid 17th century: from Latin sesquipedalis ‘a foot and a half long’, from sesqui- (see sesqui-) + pes, ped- ‘foot’.
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