Meaning of sesquipedalian in English:


Pronunciation /ˌsɛskwɪpɪˈdeɪlɪən/


  • 1 formal (of a word) polysyllabic; long.

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


Mid 17th century from Latin sesquipedalis ‘a foot and a half long’, from sesqui- (see sesqui-) + pes, ped- ‘foot’.