Definition of sesquipedalian in English:


Line breaks: ses¦qui|ped¦alian
Pronunciation: /ˌsɛskwɪpɪˈdeɪlɪən


  • 1(Of a word) polysyllabic; long: sesquipedalian surnames
    More example sentences
    • 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.’
  • 1.1Characterized by long words; long-winded: the sesquipedalian prose of scientific journals
    More example sentences
    • 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.


mid 17th century: from Latin sesquipedalis 'a foot and a half long', from sesqui- (see sesqui-) + pes, ped- 'foot'.

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