The English language constantly evolves, with more than 700 new words, phrases and senses being added in the latest Oxford English Dictionary (OED) update. From TikTok slang to the downright bizarre, you’d be surprised to know about the sorts of words that even have a place in the dictionary.
If your kids are anything like ours, they will LOVE to boast about knowing and spelling the longest word. Placing the focus on the bizarre, the language experts at Preply have revealed what the longest words in the dictionary are, as well as what they mean and how to pronounce them.
Taking the crown for the longest word in standard dictionaries is pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis. Made up of a staggering 45 letters, this word refers to a lung disease triggered by breathing in very fine silicate or quartz dust.
Being the second longest word in the dictionary with 36 letters, it is ironic that hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia is the name for a fear of long words.
At 34 letters, this term coined by our favourite British nanny Mary Poppins refers to something extraordinarily good or wonderful.
In the medical world, pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism is an inherited condition that causes short stature, round face, and short hand bones. It lands fourth longest with 30 letters.
Floccinaucinihilipilification refers to the act or habit of categorising something as having no value or being worthless. Despite its meaning, the word is generally used in a humorous context. It has 29 letters.
History enthusiasts may already know this, but antidisestablishmentarianism refers to a political movement in 19th-century Britain that was determined to separate the Church and the state. It has 28 letters.
With 27 letters, honorificabilitudinitatibus is derived from from Medieval Latin and refers to the “state of being able to achieve honours”.
Thyroparathyroidectomized refers to the surgical removal of the thyroid and parathyroid glands, and has 25 letters.
What do you call a colourless nonflammable gas that is liquefied by pressure? Dichlorodifluoromethane, made up of 23 letters.
Pronunciation: “Dahy-klawr-oh-dahy-floo r-oh-meth-eyn”
Finally moving on to the more pronounceable words, with 21 letters incomprehensibilities refers to the state of being impossible or very difficult to understand.
Pronunciation: “In-compre-hen-sibil-ities “