If you thought you knew what the longest word in the English language is you might want to check out this post. We take a look at just ten of the longest words currently added to the English language and some of them have almost 200,000 letters! This might take longer to type than I thought…
The Top 10 Longest Words in the English Language (and What They Mean)
10 – Incomprehensibilities (Letter Count: 21)
This term means difficult or impossible to understand or comprehend; unintelligible: incomprehensible jargon. Or something that is impossible to know or fathom out. Much like all these words on this list!
9 – Honorificabilitudinitatibus (Letter Count: 27)
Honorificabilitudinitatibus is the dative and ablative plural of the medieval Latin word honorificabilitudinitas, which can be translated as “the state of being able to achieve honours”. It is mentioned by the character Costard in Act V, Scene I of William Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost. As it appears only once in Shakespeare’s works, it is a hapax legomenon in the Shakespeare canon. It is also the longest word in the English language featuring only alternating consonants and vowels.
8 – Antidisestablishmentarianism (Letter Count: 28)
The word became known in the public realm in the United States via a popular television show in the 1950s, The $64,000 Question when a young contestant correctly spelled it to win. A slightly longer, but less commonly accepted, variant of the word can be found in the Duke Ellington song “You’re Just an Old Antidisestablishmentarianismist;” although, the correct construction of the word used in the song should be “antidisestablishmentarianist” (without the “ism”), or “antidisestablishmentarian. The word is also used by Eminem in his song “Almost Famous”.
7 – Floccinaucinihilipilification (Letter Count: 29)
A jocular coinage, apparently by pupils at Eton College, combining a number of roughly synonymous Latin stems. The word was inspired by a line in the Eton Latin Grammar that gave a rule for certain verbs that take an object in the genitive case: “flocci, nauci, nihilī, pilī, assis, huius, teruncii, hīs verbīs, aestimō, pendō, faciō, pecūliāriter adduntur”. To us humans, it means “The act or habit of describing or regarding something as unimportant, of having no value or being worthless. ”
6 – Pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism (Letter Count: 34)
Pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism (PPHP) is an inherited disorder, named for its similarity to pseudohypoparathyroidism in presentation. The term is used to describe a condition where the individual has the phenotypic appearance of pseudohypoparathyroidism type 1a, but is biochemically normal. I bet you are sorry you asked now!
5 – Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (Letter Count: 34)
Even though the sound of it is something quite atrocious, if you say it loud enough, you’ll always sound precocious…etc. Of course, it was a term used in the Mary Poppins film and musical.
4 – Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis (Letter Count: 45)
This is considered to be the official longest word because it is in the Oxford dictionary, but others say it doesn’t matter than it is in there, only that it is an official word coined in an English publication, no matter what that publication is. It means: ” a lung disease caused by inhaling very fine ash and sand dust.”
3 – Lopadotemachoselachogaleokranioleipsano…pterygon (Letter Count: 182)
This super long word is often coined by a major author Aristophanes and is the longest word ever to appear in Ancient Greek literature. What does it mean? It is a meal made from all kinds of foods like fish, meat and all sauces.
2 – Methionylglutaminylarginyltyrosylglutamyl…serine (Letter Count: 1,909)
This technical term for a tryptophan synthetase is a type of enzyme that is made up of 267 amino acids!
1 – Methionylthreonylthreonylglutaminylalanyl…isoleucine (Letter Count: 189,819)
This is the chemical name of titin, the largest known protein. While it is not in the English dictionary for obvious reasons (because it would take up too much room to print), it is in a scientific periodic table meaning it is an official word.