AskDefine | Define sesquipedalian

Dictionary Definition

sesquipedalian adj
1 given to the overuse of long words; "sesquipedalian orators"; "this sesquipedalian way of saying one has no money"
2 (of words) long and ponderous; having many syllables; "sesquipedalian technical terms" [syn: polysyllabic] n : a very long word (a foot and a half long) [syn: sesquipedalia]

User Contributed Dictionary



From sesqui-, from Latin sesqui, one and a half, + pedal, from Latin pes, pedis, foot, + adjective suffix -alis, + adjective suffix -ian: Lit. a foot and a half long. cf. F. sesquipédal, L. sesquipedalis.


  • /ˌsɛskwɪpɪˈdeɪlɪən/


  1. The act or practice of using long words.
  2. A long word.


  1. In the context of "of a word or words": long; polysyllabic.
    More people know the sesquipedalian word "antidisestablishmentarianism" than know what it means.
  2. Pertaining to or given to the use of overly long words.
    Our dinner guest was so sesquipedalian that no one could understand what he said.


of long words
given to the use of long words

Related terms

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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