Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal, Wikipedia.
Related to sesquipedalian: sesquipedalian words


A long word.
1. Given to or characterized by the use of long words.
2. Long and ponderous; polysyllabic.


(ˌsɛskwɪpɪˈdeɪlɪən) or less commonly


1. tending to use very long words
2. (of words or expressions) long and ponderous; polysyllabic
a polysyllabic word
[C17: from Latin sēsquipedālis of a foot and a half (coined by Horace in Ars Poetica), from sesqui- + pedālis of the foot, from pēs foot]
ˌsesquipeˈdalianism, sesquipedality n


(ˌsɛs kwɪ pɪˈdeɪ li ən, -ˈdeɪl yən)

1. given to using long words.
2. (of a word) containing many syllables.
[1605–15; < Latin sēsquipedāli(s) measuring a foot and a half]


Used to describe words that are long and have many syllables.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.sesquipedalian - a very long word (a foot and a half long)
polysyllabic word, polysyllable - a word of more than three syllables
Adj.1.sesquipedalian - given to the overuse of long words; "sesquipedalian orators"; "this sesquipedalian way of saying one has no money"
pretentious - making claim to or creating an appearance of (often undeserved) importance or distinction; "a pretentious country house"; "a pretentious fraud"; "a pretentious scholarly edition"
2.sesquipedalian - (of words) long and ponderous; having many syllables; "sesquipedalian technical terms"
long - primarily spatial sense; of relatively great or greater than average spatial extension or extension as specified; "a long road"; "a long distance"; "contained many long words"; "ten miles long"


Having many syllables:


[ˌseskwɪpɪˈdeɪlɪən] ADJsesquipedal, polisilábico
sesquipedalian wordpalabra f kilométrica
References in classic literature ?
D'Artagnan recoiled, as though the sesquipedalian syllables had knocked the breath out of his body.
Many people still think that using sesquipedalian words (literally, words that are a foot-and-a-half long) will impress their listeners.
world-weary, Eliotic tone, as well as some sesquipedalian diction
If the confirmation ceremony has its load of silly sins in all the theatricalities, rhetorical exuberances, sesquipedalian phrases, sophomoric essays and personal ostentations," wrote Rabbi Max Heller in 1910, "surely the remedy would be worse than the disease if we went back to the indefensible Orientalism of excluding the fair sex again and re-adopted Bar Mitzvah.
They're likelier to sprout wings than to invoke Pericles, as Vidal did in warning against the overextension of empire, or to flaunt whatever sesquipedalian vocabulary they might possess, as Buckley did at every opportunity.
In the past, a limited version of this competition was on view in the annual national spelling bee aired on US TV, with little kids amazing and humbling adult viewers with their sesquipedalian prodigy.
And finally, the P-45 Prize for being the longest known dictionary-listed unhyphenated English insider word goes to an old friend, that ageless sesquipedalian stalwart,
Formal communication, as I and my students experience it, is composed of baroque sentences with multiple sesquipedalian adjectives and adverbs.
Geer's prose can be long-winded and occasionally sesquipedalian (such as the phrase "Accretive sequestration of social policy"), but then he turns around and shows off his selective economy with words by crafting statements like:
And although some of these words are inordinately sesquipedalian, like "floccinaucinihilipilification" for example, they are all of a finite length.
The perfect wedding of romantic intimism and sesquipedalian egotism: in short, the essence of the myth of the artist.